It is never too late or too early to pursue your dream! Just believe in yourself and take baby steps towards your goal. And this is exactly what the inspiring story of Mrs. Afreen Khan is about.
A successful entrepreneur in the IT world, a mother, a fitness model and also an athlete, Afreen has come a long way in her spectacular life. One look at her and you could never have imagined her suffering from overweight issues. She not only made fitness her goal, but also walked the beauty pageant of Mrs India 2018 representing southern India. Today, after achieving her goals and working with reputed brands and people, she is now a Fitness and Lifestyle influencer with as many as 40K followers on Instagram. But, what is life without struggles? Afreen’s life was never as simple as a walk in the park. She too had her struggles and hurdles that she successfully overcame to become the woman of substance that she is today. Let’s take a small look at her life’s journey.
How It All Began?
Afreen’s real journey to a fit health and success began 5 years back. Like all women in the society, she submitted herself to being a mother and nurturing her child. But, in the pursuit of being the Perfect or Ideal mother, she forgot to take her own responsibility. She gained a lot of weight which also affected her health and well-being. She started having self esteem issues, and started sinking into depression. She started feeling that taking care of herself made her a selfish mother. Tired from the constant nagging of her friends, one day she finally decided to take some action against it. And so, she decided to lose weight to simply answer back all her friends. She joined a gym and started working on herself. It was during this phase of fighting her body-shaming incident that she became aware of the real meaning of fitness and health.
Her Fight With Body Shaming
It is said that a true friend always shows you the mirror, whether you like the reflection or not! And, it is upon us on how we act to make the reflection look more beautiful each day.
The constant body shaming by her own friends greatly affected the self confidence in Afreen, also pushing her into depression. She was always irritable and this greatly affected her day to day activities. Her first and foremost excuse to her weight was that she was now a mother and had no time for herself. But, this self pity slowly started to suffocate her that she started looking for an outlet to start acting on her health and body. So, she decided to join a gym near her house. This was her first step to rediscovering herself. But, when she started going to the gym, she faced a lot of humiliation by the people around her, who made her feel that her weight was the measure to her worth. And thus, Afreen started working harder to lose weight and make people consider her worthy.
But this is a very shallow idea about health or about anyone’s worth that our society conditions us to. However with the passing time, her experiences and her new learning’s, she realized that fitness was now a way of life rather than a means to an end. We live in a country where women are constantly scrutinized for how they look and how they are supposed to look. This stage of meeting the society standards tops the chart when you are getting married cause you are expected to look the best on your D day. But after that day, who cares. Now bring into this picture, motherhood, and that’s it , not just you , the whole world around you makes you feel who cares how you look, you are a mother now. But what people don’t understand is fitness is a priority , not a luxury. It’s not about how you look, it’s about what your body can do.
Afreen pulled out one hour from her every day schedule and spent it in the gym working out on her body, not just for herself but also for people who kept nagging her. But what amazed Afreen was that even after she lost her weight, the same people who criticized her earlier, kept on criticizing her and questioned her again and again on her choice, why she was doing that and to impress whom with her new body? That’s how vain fitness is perceived in our society. It’s only about appearance not about health .This was when her whole perspective to what people will say changed. By this time she was already loving her body and had achieved her first goal. She now felt confident and empowered. After being in this journey of fitness from 5 years now, Afreen can say that she has learnt the essence of fitness. Fitness is a not a number on a scale or a size. It’s how it makes you feel about yourself.
With fitness and self love, her new passion, Afreen started paving unknown territories for herself. She got the opportunity to represent Bangalore on a National Level platform and was crowned the Face of South 2018, in the Mrs. India Earth pageant. She was not only fortunate enough to join the stage with beautiful women from across the country but also got recognized and applauded for her physical strength in the fitness round of the pageant. After the pageant, she was also featured by renowned platforms like Deccan Herald, Decathlon Sports India, Womenly, Quint, Indian Women blog, Body and strength etc. for her transformation journey. From being a shy, art loving person who never played a sport all her life , today Afreen is a health blogger, a fitness model, an athlete and a social media health and lifestyle influencer who does a combination of cardio and strength training.
Afreen’s Message To Women Across The World
Afreen started her fitness journey for others but now her growth is hers, She have no inhibitions about how people judge her or the way she looks. Never judge your worth based on other people’s opinions. When she started sharing her transformation journey, her workout schedules, her before after weight loss pictures, people appreciated her efforts. They started respecting the fact that she wasn’t always fit, but she paved her own way through it. After all these years, today when someone comes to her and says she inspired them to be fit or to just take care of themselves, Afreen feels like she chose the right path.
Fitness is way more than appearance, it’s a way of life that changes the way you deal with life. The first advise to those complaining about weight is to stop the pity party and quit the excuses. We all have lot of reasons not to do it, but if you find just one reason and it’s that you deserve better. Once you accept that, you will take the road that leads to self love, and Afreen feels mothers need this the most cause somehow we forget to love ourselves after we bring a tiny human into our world and he/she becomes the only recipient of Love from all.
As mothers, we should set the right examples of being healthy and fit for our children all through their life and not restrict fitness to a particular age or profession or status. Afreen is working on spreading this message to as many people as she can and hopefully someday every woman will include fitness as a part of her day to day life as a means of self love.