From fat to fit: Bhumi Pednekar gained, and then lost, 30kg Bhumi Pednekar chose the role of an overweight married woman as her launchpad in a size-obsessed industry. The experience of piling on–and eventually losing the weight–has taught her some valuable lessons.

globalmovie     17 Mar,2016         No Comment

-Bhumi-Pednekar pic

From fat to fit: Bhumi Pednekar gained, and then lost, 30kg

Bhumi Pednekar chose the role of an overweight married woman as her launchpad in a size-obsessed industry. The experience of piling on–and eventually losing the weight–has taught her some valuable lessons. 

What makes a good Bollywood debut? A glamorous, big-banner movie with a handful of song-and dance numbers thrown in, a fair number of designer costume changes and ample opportunities to show off the midriff and a lissome frame?

Related: “Salman, Shah Rukh and Akshay look so damn good” says Nargis Fakhri

Not for Bhumi Pednekar. The young woman signed up for a role that demanded she bulk up–she was heavier by nearly 30 kilos–drape staid saris and play the part of an overweight housewife trying to earn the affection of her husband in her launchpad Dum Laga ke Haisha (DLH).

It was the best debut I could’ve ever made, says the 25-year-old who had to disconnect herself from her “hardcore Mumbai” life and plug into Haridwar of the 1990s. “I’m in love with the film and have watched it innumerable times! There wasn’t a moment’s doubt about the role, I was being paid to do two things I love, eat and act!” says Bhumi, recalling the time she woke up to butter chicken for breakfast, “I was being pampered and fed all the time.

Related: 4 Fool-proof weight loss tips to follow before going to bed

The foodie in me was thrilled, and the actor in me wanted to do it right.” Watching their young daughter take that path wasn’t easy for her family, especially her mom who, Bhumi reveals, is the gatekeeper of the family’s health. She’s the reason why the girls–Bhumi and her younger sibling–love a good meal but never grew into the “Coke and chocolate kids”.

So here she was, sending her academically leaning upper middle class parents into a mild state of shock. When girls her age were preoccupied with weight loss programmes and trying to get into skinny jeans, she was wolfing down double a cheese pizza. “I was never a skinny girl and was tinkering with the idea of knocking off some weight to get fitter. Along came DLH and I was blown away by the script. It was a gamble, but I’d never give up on an opportunity like this. I didn’t have a doubt about Sandhya,” she says of her role.

 

Related: Sticking to your fitness goal seems like a hassle, no? Try this!

She’s greedy, admits Bhumi. “Yes, I am a very greedy actor. I love acting and I want to do all kinds of roles.” Her parents never stopped Bhumi from chasing her dreams, though her dad encouraged her to join the Indian Foreign Service, or pursue higher education in a Ivy League university. But Bhumi had set sight on Bollywood.

And so at 18, just out of school, Bhumi joined Yash Raj Films. She juggled a bunch of odd jobs-from casting to assistant director-and completed college through open schooling.

Related: 5 tips for the first-time runner, from a first-time runner

She was auditioning aspirants for the role of Sandhya when the YRF bosses chose her to play the role. “When I signed, I knew I was going to make a career of it. Every girl thinks about losing weight, but I now know how much work it takes to gain weight! I was happy doing it, but that doesn’t mean I endorse it.

But let weight not get in the way of how you feel about yourself. I feel transformed by the experience, it has taught me so much more about myself!” says Bhumi of the role that revealed her own stubborn streak, “I did everything in my power to become Sandhya Verma. Later, when it was time to shed the kilos, I worked hard on that too.”

The shooting was completed in March 2014, and Bhumi waited until December for reshoots and patchwork. As soon as she got the green signal, she shifted gears.

Related: It’s out! Bullet coffee is what keeps Harry Styles in shape

Butter chicken was out of her life. A few months down, by the time the film released, she’d lost 10 kg. “Post that, I went Ninja,” she says, launching into the details of the homegrown diet plan she devised with the help of her mother (see box). She took the help of a trainer to bolster her diet with a robust fitness regime.

“I had a lot of weight on my body, so I could not launch into high intensity exercises right away. I had to condition my joints and prep myself for it.”

Her routine included a variety of workouts, from running, working on machines, functional training, swimming and Bollywood dancing. “I like to keep it interesting with a lot of variety. Even today, I dance to Bollywood tunes, it is high intensity cardio and a great way to tone up,” she says.

She’s aware her weight loss story is a point of conversation, possibly an ‘inspiration’ for many young women. But Bhumi is careful not to lump the idea of being thin with being fit.

Related: Gaining weight? The absence of this fibre in your diet could be the reason

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

Related Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *