I’m so happy and honored to finally turn the camera around and show you who CR Photography is! Chitra has been photographing me for MFBS for over a year now. In the last year, every time I would meet Chitra, she looked…different. Healthy! I started to ask her what she was up to and told me all about her fitness goals. Since I met Chitra, she has lost over 80 pounds! I have witnessed her transformation and she was truly one of my main inspirations for this #FitMom mini series. She has a fantastic story to share and her new blog, New Mind, New Body, New Me carries her complete journey and is full of tips for all of us. Thank you, Chitra for sharing and thank you for photographing all of us for this series. xoxo
When did you decide to change your life and live it to its full potential? What happened that made you say, “Today is the day?”
January of 2014, I joined a “Lose 15 lbs in 30 days challenge” at My Training Gym in Morristown out of sheer frustration, not expecting much. By the end of the month, I was thrilled to have lost almost 16 lbs without any fad diets or meal replacement shakes, just eating ‘real’ clean food, working out and tons of support. That’s when I knew that I had hit upon something big and I just had to keep going.
What does your typical workout entail?
I usually do 3 bootcamp classes, 2 personal training sessions and five 30 minute cardio sessions at the gym every week. I don’t enjoy working out on my own, so it helps to have trainers who motivate/push me with fun workouts. Occasionally I will go out for a run outdoors and have started enjoying running
How do you make time for training?
Its not easy to take time out for yourself especially when life, family, and work get crazy. I am blessed to have my own photography business, which gives me the flexibility to get my workouts in while my kids are in school. I also believe that you can only take care of others if you take care of yourself. Over time I have learned that self-care is not selfish, it’s essential! So even if it means making it to the gym at 5 in the morning, I make sure I get it in. ☺
We all wake up feeling unmotivated once in a while. How do you get through a tough day?
There are many days I’d rather hit the snooze button, but I have my gym buddies who come to the rescue. We help motivate each other and get through those slumps. I have a great support system around me that I know I can count on for such days
How many children do you have and do they “work out” with you?
I have 2 boys, 11 and 8, who have a ton of energy and ever since I got on the “fitness” bandwagon, we do all sorts of fun active things together. At home, we hang on the pull up bar for fun, we do plank and pushup contests, my little guy has tremendous core strength, and I was shocked that he could hold a plank for over 4 minutes!! We go for bike rides as a family. My older son loves to run, and we do 5Ks together.
Tell us about a challenge you overcame during the process of ‘changing your life once and for all.’
This has been a year of transformation for me, and I’ve been blessed with an amazing personal trainer, Joe, who doubles as a motivational coach/ mentor. He constantly pushes me to go a little further than I can imagine. I had just started training with him, and during one of the sessions, he took me to the treadmill and told me he wanted me to run intervals and he would up the speed for a minute as we went along. Before that day, I had only gotten to 7.0 for about 15 seconds intervals on my own. By the end of that session, he had me sprinting at 11 or 11.5 for a whole minute. Needless to say I was shocked that my body was capable of doing that, and I left the gym with a natural “high”. We have broken multiple barriers since then and I think more than the physical accomplishment I had a mindset shift that day. I saw proof that I was capable of so much more than I thought. All I needed was someone to believe in me and push me out of my comfort zone.
What’s a typical dinner for you?
My dinner is usually a lean protein, like tofu or edamame, with a side salad and a healthy fat like half an avocado or a handful of nuts.
How do you manage cravings and social situations that entail lots of food and drinks on your “no” list?
It helps that I’m vegetarian and don’t drink, that eliminates 50% of the food at any gathering. I keep my food really clean during the week so that when the weekend comes around I can afford to indulge a little. That said, when I’m in goal mode, and need to be completely dialed in with food, planning is key. I usually eat a healthy meal (lean protein) before I go out to any social event, and am less tempted if I’m full. I drink a lot of water and chew gum to keep me from picking on the food. And if all else fails, I’ll take a picture of the food tempting me and text it to my SOS buddies and invariably one of them will remind me of my goals and walk me off the ledge.
Images: My Friend Betty