With a 9 am to 6 pm job, project deadlines and a life punctuated by weekends full of parties, food and drinks, Trishnanta Kanjilal could be anyone of us. But, as a matter of fact, she isnt, because unlike most of us, Trishnanta refused to buckle to excuses and the pressures of life to emerge as a winner in the fitness game. This is her story.
A successful marketing professional with global biggie Deloitte, Trishnanta also dons multiple hats of a blogger, baker, photographer, and creative writer during her free time. A self-confessed foodie, there was a time when Trishnanta, like so many of us, didnt bother herself with moderation whether in food or in drinks. 5-6 pints of beer and a muffin or two between meals were absolutely okay!
This lifestyle took its toll. In her own words, Trishnanta says, she wanted to die after a short flight up the stairs and generally felt low on energy most of the days. This was the status quo till one day Trishnanta woke up to the fact that fitness was not something she could ignore for much longer.
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In the year in 2016, the adventure junkie who had already tried her hand in bungee jumping and whitewater rafting (shes cool like that!), Trishnanta enrolled herself for a week long course in scuba diving . It was while facing the physical challenges associated with this course that Trishnanta had her epiphany. Though she was able to somehow pull herself through the course, thanks to her sheer determination, the fact that she was touching a whopping 90 kilos could no longer be swept under the carpet. Despite a hectic schedule and her love for food, Trishnanta decided to put up a fight!
Earlier in 2017, a close friend and a fitness freak, introduced Trishnanta to an online fitness consultation platform. Though initially apprehensive, she finally decided to enrol herself for a 12 week program. Armed with the resolve to transform herself and guided by her trainer Iram Zaidi, Trishnanta was determined to give all the power she had to survive the challenge.
Under Iram’s guidance, instead of going cardio-heavy, like most people do, Trishnanta augmented her workout with strength training. At this point, we would like to address the myth going around that women who lift weights will somehow bulk-up and look masculine. Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, as Trishnanta demonstrates so amazingly, women who do strength training regularly are stronger, leaner, and healthier than women who avoid it.
To continue with Trishnantas journey, soon after joining a gym she felt she found a passion and love for fitness and especially strength training. Her workout schedule, created by Iram Zaidi (and some by even by herself) was designed to target different muscle groups each day – one day for the lower body, one day for upper body, one day for back, and so on.
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In fact, Trishnanta confesses that her favourite days are leg and back days. Not to be missed, this power woman does 100 lunges with heavy weights on her legs day! While trainers did help her design the workout chart, YouTube has been her biggest Guru when it comes to the dos & donts of any workout form or technique.
As with any physical transformation, food played a key role in Trishnantas story too. Her trainer, Iram Zaidi designed a customised diet chart keeping in mind Trishnanta’s body type as well as her fitness goals. Her typical day would begin with a post workout meal of eggs and whey protein shake. This was followed by a lunch that is rich in protein, carbs, and fibre. Dinner again includes foods that are rich in protein with some carbs (mostly rice). For snacks, she carries nuts, yoghurt, and salads.
Eating every 2 to 3 hours, Trishnanta made sure that she never had long gaps between meals. No sweets, no alcohol, and only home-cooked foods are the only saviours she chose over anything that made her fall off the track. On cheat days, however, she does allow herself to indulge in a proper Bong meal cooked by her mum. She also indulges in some mouth-watering Bengali sweets twice in a month. Even so, her cheat meal portions are controlled.
To satisfy any arbitrary cravings, Trishnanta learned to make herself some diet-friendly desserts like protein mug cake, oat laddoos, or almond mug cakes with stevia replacing sugar. Her other indulgence were the occasional bite of 85% cocoa dark chocolates.
When asked about the biggest challenges faced by her during this incredible fitness journey, she admits that social pressure was the biggest of all! Says Trishnanta, Be it in the office or social circle, theres a constant struggle because your team members want to eat burgers and pizzas every Friday and even a polite No can offend people and subject you to their judgment.
Soon enough her unflinching determination against all odds started yielding results. The 12-weeks soon turned into 24-weeks, by the end of which Trishnanta had lost a whopping 18 kilos! Besides being ecstatic at the ability to slip into any XS size dress these days, Trishnantas real gain was the inner transformation that came with fitness. In her words, My overall mood and energy levels have improved drastically and most importantly, I walk with confidence and better self-esteem. Invigorated at having achieved what she earlier considered near impossible, Trishnanta now wants to focus on strength, stamina, and better flexibility.
What kept her going?
Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took painstaking hard work, blood sweat and tears. In fact, an astonishing number of people drop out at the initial stage itself due to impatience and lack of motivation. We were stumped by Trishnanta’s simple yet powerful formula. We reproduce that formula in Trishnantas own words:
1. Choose a regime that you enjoy, be realistic and target at least 3 days of physical activity of your choice every week.
2. Get over bad days if you fall off the wagon, instead of beating yourself about it get back on track right after.
3. Results are the biggest motivators I keep track of my progress and it constantly motivates me to do better.
Once hiding behind cushions to keep the eyes away from her spare tyres, today Trishnanta has come to embrace fitness as a lifestyle. Not just that, her incredible transformation has made her an inspiration in her friends circle too! As she continues on her journey, we wish her all the power and pray her story becomes an inspiration for millions. We end it with Trishnantas favourite quote: