Mandira Bedi reveals her diet and workout regime for flat abs
45-year-old actor-presenter Mandira Bedi shares workout and diet regime that gives her flat abs minus spanx
Pics/Sameer Markande location courtesy/ I Think Fitness Gym
We all remember actress Mandira Bedi from her career-defining role as the fiery, opinionated and strong Shanti on the eponymous TV show. That was 24 years ago. She is 45 years old now, has shed the curly hair for a pixie cut, and has been breaking the Internet recently with images of her mind-blowing, chiselled body - she weighs 50 kg at 5 feet four inches - that would put any 20-year-old's to shame. The abs are defined, the stance confident and the attitude inspiring.
When we spoke to her about how she does it, despite being a mother to a six-year-old, she has a simple, uncomplicated reply, "More than my body, it's for my mental and emotional stability. If I don't work out, I am crabby, and my day is off. My husband doesn't say, 'chill out', he says, 'go workout!'." Here she talks to us about going the botox route, how she beat postpartum depression and shed 18 kilos after pregnancy, and why staying fit is as important as looking good in anything that may be hanging in your wardrobe.
When in your life would you say you were the least fit?
That would be any time before 2005. I would run once in a while, go to the gym once in a while. Then I was called to be on the reality show, Fear Factor, and I decided that if I was going to be on the show, I needed to be fit.
Also, after my pregnancy, I gained 22 kg. I suffered from postpartum, depression, and couldn't work out for 40 days after I gave birth. But then, on the 41st day, when it was raining, I went for a one-hour walk. That's when I knew everything was going to be fine.
Actor and presenter Mandira Bedi at Bandra's I Think Fitness gym on Friday. Pic/Sameer Markande
What does being fit mean to you?
To me, being fit means I can match steps with my six-year-old son. I can pick him up and run with him. I have endurance that can put a 20-year-old to shame. But, it's also about looking good. It means a lot when I can take anything out from my wardrobe and fit into it, without my tummy bulging out. I am in the business of entertainment, and I am photographed. I don't want to look like a fat, unfit version of me. That makes me feel bad as I know I am not being the best version of me.
What is your fitness routine – how has it changed through the years?
I do a lot of functional training - it's a mix of weights and cardio, and I do core training four to five times a week as well. I work out six days a week, and run as well. I usually run 10 kilometres at one go. Slowly, I have been increasing the weights that I lift. For example, today at the lateral back pull, I picked up 110 pounds (55 on each side). I focus on building my endurance, which means I never get tired. There are many guys in my gym who are stronger than me, but my endurance is much better.
I recently got my fat percentage checked and it falls between 18 to 21 per cent, which is in the athlete zone. I have no trainer - I am self-motivated enough to conduct my exercise routine. If I can't make it to the gym, I do timed exercises at home - squats for five minutes, lunges for five, abs for two.
How have you adapted your diet and lifestyle to fit this schedule?
I drink on the weekends, and it's usually a mad weekend, where mayhem happens. My diet is no rocket science - I have eggs for breakfast; dal, roti, sabji for lunch, and for dinner, I just drop the rotis. I am strict Monday through Friday, but on the weekends, I am a sloth and I sleep in. I am the type of person who, if I eat one bite of chocolate, I'll say, "oh I have already eaten chocolate, so let's eat it all".
What changes has your body gone through over the year?
I haven't felt any such changes at all (laughs). A few years ago, I did botox to fill in the one line on my forehead, and then I couldn't emote. That's the last time I did something like that. I think my lifestyle now takes care of all these issues.
Have you achieved what you set out to?
I have run two 21-km marathons in the past few years and want to run a 42-km one soon. I also want to see more definition in my body. These days, I don't have to suck in my stomach to see abs. They are already there.
Do you have any advice for other women who feel daunted by their age about changing their bodies?
I would say don't do it for your body, do it for your emotional stability.