Sheree Gomes Gupta is a contributing editor/writer at Vogue India. A woman who’s had a very interesting fitness journey. She continues to maintain her fitness level through dedication and technology. Growing up, Sheree faced the many issues associated with PCOD as many other young women do. She got back to work a year after her son was born. We caught up with her to understand how she got to where she is now (from 86 kilos to 62 kilos) and some tips for other women dealing with similar issues.
What was the biggest motivating factor to adopt a healthy lifestyle?
I was 86 kilos when my son was born. Between juggling work, my hormone issues (I have both PCOD and hypo-thyroid) and adjusting to my new lifestyle post mommyhood, I ignored my weight issues for a very long time. There came a point, however, when I got fed-up of being mentally and physically exhausted all the time. I wanted to be healthy and fit for my son. To be his role model because kids learn more from your actions than your words. That’s when I decided to take charge of my body — I signed up with Suman Agarwal for a practical yet effective diet plan and started walking in the park next door one hour a day for seven days.
You spoke highly about the diet plan you followed, tell us a little about how that contributed to your transformation.
A good diet, as we know, is more effective than exercise when it comes to losing weight. This is why we need to follow a food plan that works with our schedule and lifestyle. There’s no point crash dieting as it all just comes back. My diet till date allows me to eat carbs along with protein at all four meals, butter with my toast, sugar in my coffee, two glasses of wine/beer a week, all portion controlled of course. The trick is to balance it out through the day. Suman ensures you look and feel beautiful inside out.
When you decided you needed a change, what was the biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was my ‘sweet tooth’. Fortunately, Suman understands and devises a diet in such a way that you don’t end up craving or bingeing. She gave me a diet that included sugar and allowed me to have the occasional dessert. When it comes to fitness and nutrition, the key is to do something that is sustainable.
What does a day look like for Sheree Gomes Gupta?
So I wake up at 6.40am, get dressed for work, ensure my son is all ready for school and then drop him off before heading to the office. The evenings are spent helping my son with homework if any, workout for an hour, dinner, some reading and lights out at 10.
Tell us a little bit about the guilt and sadness you faced in the post-natal stage and how that affected your health?
I went through post-partum depression for almost a year after my son was born. Lack of sleep, working at a daily newspaper (After Hrs, DNA), travelling from Versova to Lower Parel everyday (there was no Bandra-Worli Sealink then) and not getting to spend as much time with my son as I wanted to… it was crazy! Fortunately for me, I had, and continue to have a good support system, in the form of family and friends.
Tips for soon to be and recent mothers on how to stay healthy while being a full time mom:
It’s important to make time for yourselves even if for just an hour. Yes, baby is priority and yes, you already have a lot on your plate. But a happy mom=a happy baby. You need to be fit, mentally and physically, for your child… let that be your motivation. And yes, reach out to your spouse or relatives and friends you are close to when you need a pick-me-up. Go see a counsellor if need be. Don’t give up on yourself.
Advice for all the husbands and partners out there who want to be supportive:
Listen to what your wife is trying to tell you, allow her to let off some steam when she needs to, understand what she is going through as a new mum and share your own emotions as well as this is a big change for you too. Parenthood is a joint effort and the only way to do it is as a team, right from when your baby is born.
You’ve written many pieces about losing weight on Vogue.in, what do you think is the best combo or mix of activities for working moms to get fit?
Start by just walking—it’s free and you can go anytime of the day! Once you lose the initial weight and when you’ve settled into a good routine, do a mix of functional training and some fun cardio like Zumba or Aerobics or take on sport. Invest in a fitness tracker like I did—it works like a personal coach pushing you to move till you reach your goal for the day.
Favourite Workout Activity and Favourite Cheat Meal.
Favourite workout – Zumba.
Favourite cheat meal – Philadelphia cheesecake