The Financial Express

A wonderful fitness journey of a determined woman

| Updated: August 31, 2022 19:27:57

A wonderful fitness journey of a determined woman

Einstein once said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." But whenever we try something new, hoping for a change, perhaps the most common dilemma in our subcontinental societies is, "What will people say?"

And it is not a very illogical dilemma. Yet, some people achieve their dreams by going against the flow and ignoring all the criticism. Rounak Ashrafi Prema is one such person.

Her fitness journey started with a target of reducing 100+ kg body weight. And now the result is the stamina of lifting 100+ kg weight and a desirable body shape.

In her early 30s, Rounak is currently working as an entrepreneur and HR Consultant for a global software company in Bangkok, Thailand.

"It was 2009, when I was 120 kg. I was asked to lose body-weight by everyone. I started a crash diet without any idea about fitness at that time. I lost 30 kg in two years, without any heavy exercise."

Despite the weight loss, she had to suffer from the side effects of this crash diet, and her body became weak then, she added.

"After my initial weight loss, I let up some slack after my marriage, which later caused me to gain weight again."

After gaining approximately 94 kg, she tried to lose weight again with a strict diet, but not for long.

However, after many ups and downs, she got serious about fitness in 2016. Then, she brought herself to 62-61 kg through a massive range of workouts. But then COVID broke out, and there came a gap which made her obese once again.

"The apparently final chapter of my journey began when I got my trade license in Thailand in 2018 and shifted to Thailand permanently for living," Rounak said.

However, she doesn't want to mark it as the final chapter as she believes there is still a long way to go.

What was just a weight-losing programme in Bangladesh slowly turned into a journey of fitness and body shaping in Thailand, and Rounak wants to give the most credit to her trainers for this transformation.

Losing weight was not her priority after arriving in Thailand. But as she gained weight again, she decided to join a gym. Interestingly, Thailand's weight-losing programme is technically and strategically different from Bangladesh's in many ways.

In Thailand, the strategy they follow is to make you physically capable of adapting the appropriate body shape for yourself. So she realised it was not about losing but gaining something. She didn't have to lose weight but rather earn a perfect body shape, stamina and fitness. And to achieve that ideal shape, Rounak Ashrafi has been sweating for a year now.

"It was like a mindset for a change rather than a struggle. That's why the difficulties of this journey couldn't beat me," she shared. "But it is not like there were no difficulties at all. There was depression, pain, tears and strains; but at the end of the day, there was peace and confidence."

Nowadays, when Rounak compares her current life to the previous one, she finds many uprisings. According to her husband, Rashedun Nabi, the improvement in her mental fitness and stamina is visible apart from her physical transformation.

"My wife sleeps about 4-5 hours every day and she has to perform about four-five business duties throughout the day. Even with this much dedication to fitness, she can put in so much time and effort because of the stamina she has built up."

Regarding mental health, Rounak added, "I was short-tempered. Earlier it was common to get angry easily or overreact. I came to a stage of reinventing myself and found that I no longer get angry like I used to or avoid many unnecessary things. I can stay focused on my needs."

Rounak makes time for working out between all the daily tasks and takes care of the daily diet between work.

"The thing about fitness trainers in Thailand is that they don't push diet plans too strictly. Has anyone taken extra calories? No problem! Burn it off with an extra workout the next day!"

No matter how difficult it is to maintain a daily 1200 kcal consumption or to burn extra calories, standing in front of the mirror and seeing herself fit attractively in her favourite clothes, she becomes her inspiration.

"It's not like she has reduced her weight only. I was inspired by her dedication and managed to reduce my weight from 105kg to 83 kg," remarked her husband.

"My mother-in-law joked one day after my transformation, saying - 'you become a heroine by exercising; my son remained fat.' So I told her that day, that if he doesn't feel the urge to become a hero himself, then no one can make him a hero," Rounak highlighted the importance of self-realisation in a funny tone.

Everyone's body does not function similarly, nor does their metabolism. If one person loses weight in a week by following a diet, it may take another two months. It takes patience to figure it out.

"The fitness journey is sometimes like a maze. If you stop because a wall is in front of you, you will never reach your destination. You must find a way to the right, left, or any direction. It will take time; change diet, change the pattern of exercise, but stick to the plan. The results will not disappoint you," Rounak concluded befittingly.

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