Lara Dutta Bhupathi
How often did you exercise during your pregnancy?
Each pregnancy is completely individual in its nature. I was lucky to have a complication-free pregnancy. Under the guidance of certified trainers I continued to do yoga thrice a week as well as walk and do a modified gym routine thrice a week.
Is it easier for women who have exercised through their pregnancy to shed the weight after?
Yes. When the body is accustomed to any kind of fitness routine, keeping active through a pregnancy helps the muscles retain memory and therefore bouncing back post-delivery is much easier and takes a lesser amount of time.
A lot has been said about Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s post-baby weight. Do you think there are unreal expectations in showbiz on mothers to lose the pregnancy weight?
Yes, it is more a fad from the West that has come into our country. Genetically, we are very different from our western counterparts and most Indian women take a decent amount of time post-pregnancy to regain their pre-pregnancy weight. It has now become a national obsession in our country. There are more grievous issues to discuss in fine print than what the weighing scales of celebrity actresses are reporting.
Is motherhood all that you expected it to be?
As prepared as you might feel before you become a mother, nothing really prepares you for that moment of complete joy and unconditional love you feel when your baby is born. Motherhood changes you irrevocably and I feel like a whole new ‘me’ with far greater depth as a human being.
Motherhood exposes you to an unconditional love that suddenly leaves you extremely vulnerable, but also helps you put down all frivolous ideas about yourself and embrace the raw, real, true you.
Considering this is an Olympic year has Mahesh been a hands-on father?
This is an extremely busy year for Mahesh, but his priority has always been his family. He is a very hands-on dad with Saira. He is unafraid to pick her up or to soothe her when she cries or rock her to sleep when he has to, and she is totally a dad’s girl.
When do you see yourself working in movies again?
I am in the process of reading and finalising scripts. I intend to get back to work full-time by September 2012.
Do you miss being on the sets?
Of course. It’s hard and you have to prioritise. My work is also important to me and I will continue with it at a pace that is suitable to me, being able to spend as much time with my daughter as possible.
|WOW! THAT WAS FAST!
A pregnant Lara Dutta (left) and (above) 3 months after
Do you think your choice of movies henceforth would be different because you are a mother now?
Motherhood aside, I am in an extremely exciting, secure space as an actor and the only thing that drives me back to the studios is good content and challenging work. All my choices will purely be based on these two factors.
Lara’s advice for young mothers
Every pregnancy and delivery is an individual experience. Your body will let you know when it is ready to get back to some form of exercise.
Get those post natal massages for at least 40 days post delivery.
Breastfeed if you can because breast-feeding burns many calories.
Always keep a pre-pregnancy pair of pants or jeans handy and let it be motivation for you, to inspire you to get back into shape.
Start any post-natal routine under guidance, from a certified trainer or yoga teacher and always check with your doctor before you begin.
HER PRE-NATAL DVD
I have been a yoga practitioner for the last 12 years and when I got pregnant, I felt no need to stop my practice. I felt that there was a dearth in the Indian market of a good exercise/yoga DVD geared towards Indian pregnant women, for all three trimesters of pregnancy. Therein was born the idea for the fourth DVD in the H.E.A.L with Lara series to incorporate pre-natal yoga.
Pre-natal is a modified version of regular yoga, as some asanas cannot be performed the usual way during pregnancy. The DVD consists of a 30-minute yoga routine that can be performed during any trimester, as well as meditation and guided exercises that build endurance and provide pregnant women with breathing techniques that they can utilise during the process of labour and childbirth.
Mahesh was worried because we shot the DVD over a period of 48 hours. Both days were long hours of shooting. I was at the start of my eighth month and though the yoga routine is a half-hour routine, while shooting with a multiple camera set-up, the actual shooting time of the routine was over three hours. Everything went really well though.
How I got my body back: During Ankan’s time (2002), I had put on more weight than Rishona’s (May 13, 2011)... more than 10kg. Ankan was born in America and I lost a lot of weight climbing from the basement to the fourth floor! That big house was a boon for me.
This time, I started working out a month after Rishona was born. I had put on a little more than 10kg. I am not yet satisfied with my weight. I have to knock off another seven to eight kilos. Only then will I be happy.
I try to maintain a regular diet. I am a foodie, but I eat in moderation. I want to look nice and captivating! I train with my personal trainer, but again, I am not into too much training. I like to be active all the time, I like doing spot jogging. Some breathing exercises are also really good.
The pressure to get back into shape: I think it is a general message for all moms and not just celeb moms that you should make an effort to look good and also feel good from inside. You do feel a little lethargic after giving birth, but you must get over it. We are under pressure because we are talked about constantly and have to hear snide remarks like, “Look how fat she still looks!” Ota bhishon koshto hoi tokhon (That is hurtful). I know it is very difficult and that you need a specific time to lose weight, but you can speed up the process if you are regular and disciplined. If you have a positive mind, you actually give it your best. Women are always stronger than men. They can multitask. And their energy levels are commendable.
How I got my body back: I put on 22kg during my pregnancy. At the time of delivery (Mandira had Vir on June 17, 2011) I lost four. So, I had 18 more to knock off. And because mine was C-section, I had to wait 40 days before doing any kind of exercise.
A lot of women use the excuse of a C-section to not exercise. But on the 40th day, I went to a store and got myself a raincoat. The monsoon was on and on the 41st day on Carter Road, the promenade that I live next to, I started walking. I had to see how taxing it was for my body. With C-section, you cannot hit the gym on the 41st day. You’ve got to start gently. So from Day 41 to Day 75, till the baby was two-and-a-half months, I walked all the way. And then I checked with my doctor. She said my scar had healed properly.
I also jogged for the last five minutes of the walk in the first week and then increased the running time each week. When it hit the 20-minute mark at the end of two-and-a-half months, I checked with my doctor whether it was okay to go back to the gym.
I worked out five-six days a week. My personal trainer would recommend that I take one day off, but I was on a warpath. A mission. My workout would be for an hour-and -a-15 minutes or an hour-and-a-half. After a full workout, when I want to do cardio, my trainer stops me. I fight for 40 minutes of cardio, he for 20, and we finally agree on 30!
I had put on weight everywhere — on my arms and stomach. I have a tendency to put on weight on my hips and before pregnancy, I would fit into a size 26 pair of jeans. So my hips were reasonably okay. To get back into my old clothes meant working out the entire body — one day the legs, the next, chest and back and then another day, you do the triceps, biceps and shoulders.
The pressure to get back into shape: There was no pressure on me in that sense but I had deadlines in terms of work or a date when I was starting a new project. A lot of my friends told me that it takes nine-12 months to lose all the weight and I just
wanted to prove that wrong. I’d like to believe that I am different. When it comes to fitness and exercise, I have a certain drive that a lot of people don’t. I said, ‘I’m going to do it in six months’. And I did. Three days before the sixth month was completed, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 52 kilos.
Barkha Bisht Sengupta
How I got my body back: I put on 20kg in nine months (Barkha had Meera on October 10, 2011), which is huge for a small frame like mine!
My fitness regime started two weeks after I delivered. I started with brisk walking and in two weeks, I was jogging. I would run for 10km-11km every day, which I think made me lose weight drastically. Cardio is the best form of losing weight. Initially, I could not run too much, having had a C-section delivery, so with all the pain, I managed to run for about 30 minutes. As my abdominal muscles grew stronger, it went up to 45 minutes, then an hour.
I work out seven days a week, for an hour or two, of which one hour is only running. I even sprint. I have lost all the weight from my legs because of running.
Then of course, my weight training started. I have been working out my ab muscles. The only thing that has drastically changed in my workout is the amount of cardio I do now. Earlier, I would do cardio thrice a week, now it is an important part of my routine.
Besides, I do extra exercises for my abs. That’s the area where you put on weight… around your thighs and abdominal area.
I’m also considering pilates, something I used to do before pregnancy. It’s a healthy way to lose weight but pilates involves a lot of the abdomen. I could not do that initially, perhaps now I can.
I am not in super shape yet, but I will give myself credit. Meera is eight months and in these eight months, I have lost about 14kg.
The pressure to get back into shape: Pressure? Definitely! Every women wants to lose her pregnancy weight but the pressure is much more on celeb moms. From Day One, when I could walk after my delivery, the pressure was there.
Yes, the pregnancy weight did depress me a lot! I have always been fit so for me, to have gained all that weight … I would look at myself in the mirror and could not believe that this was Barkha. I had never seen myself like that. So, yes, there is a phase where you tend to get a little depressed, but over a period of time, you think about it and you think, it was all for a cause and then when you see your child, the depression goes away.
Having a fitness enthusiast of a husband helps, but sometimes, it can be bad too! Indraneil is brutally honest. People may tell me,“Oh my god… you have lost so much weight”, but my husband will look at me and say, “You have a long way to go!” I kind of trust his judgement more than anybody else’s. He is extremely critical and very honest with me. It keeps me on my toes all the time. I have this pair of really skinny jeans that I used to wear. He’s told me that the day I fit into them is the day I can take it easy. I don’t know when that will happen. I try them every day!