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    When I first met Namrata Kini som years ago, I was struck by her friendliness and positive energy. Today, I’m rather more impressed by her. In the last few years, she has done what we all seek to do: slimmed down, become fit and found what she wants in life.
    Not that Namu, as she’s known, led a deprived life earlier. She has a wonderful husband, two lovely children and a thriving business in Kynkyny, the art gallery which I love for its friendly vibe and accessible art. “It grew organically, and on the way, I met inspiring people, many now my friends,” she says.
    1601SocietyLead3Her very first motivator was her run in the Boston marathon for a fundraiser while living in the US. “It was one of those life changing moments,” she recalls. “For the first time I committed to something and trained six months for it. I learnt so much about myself, my limits, my abilities. This empowered me for my business later.”
    Her first challenge was her foray into talk shows, Conversations with Namu Kini, where she interacted with women achievers (Kalki Koechlin, Usha Uthup in Kanjeevaram with glittery sneakers) before a live audience. “I wanted to share my experiences with inspiring people I’d met. On the show, people came and discussed meaty stuff. Usha’s story about her honeymoon for instance, was wonderful and hilarious.”
    Next on her agenda was her aim to ‘get into my pre-pregnancy jeans.’ “I’d crossed 35, had two kids and put on 30-kgs – my second pregnancy saw me at 83-kgs at nine months. Though I managed to lose weight, those last 10 kilograms were tough.” Namu set herself a deadline: to lose 12-kgs over four months. She worked with professionals, a worthwhile investment, she says. A personal trainer came thrice a week, and a nutritionist, Shalini Manglani advised her on two-hourly healthy meal plans. “Other days was cardio each morning and a 30-minute run every evening – psychologically not a biggie. I loved food and didn’t want to compromise on vacations, dinner invitations. So I realigned my passion for food into one for healthy food. I thought ahead for my treats – dark chocolate that I loved rather than jalebis and chips. I promised myself I wouldn’t cheat.”
    She started losing weight. “A couple of weeks into my plan I started blogging my experiences—not just what was on my plate, but what was on my mind.” The response to her blog was overwhelming. “Many people joined me including several childhood friends. My plan – I don’t like the word diet – was tight but doable. Losing weight is 80 per cent food, 20 per cent exercise.”
    Today, her persistence has paid off. Namu has got into her pre-pregnancy jeans—and more. She’s cycling with husband, professional cyclist Vivek Radhakrishnan, on the cycle he gave her three years ago. “We cycle on the city’s outskirts, Doddballapur, Rajankunte, and have just completed a challenge-filled Bengaluru to Munnar Tour of Nilgiris over the steep Kalhatty ghats before the New Year. And a magical five-day cycling tour around Burgundy last year. Cycling is brilliant – there’s breeze, open spaces, clean air. You connect with a different India. I love it and it’s a workout too!”
    Meanwhile, friends call up for advice or a motivational chat and Namu is ever ready to help. “I’m now in control of my life and that’s given me so much confidence. They say every milestone is a stepping stone – so true!”

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