About the Founder
Growing up in India, I was not the average skinny girl.
I played sports, ate like any other teenager but I didn’t fit into skinny jeans, I was told my legs were too fat to wear shorts, skirts or dresses. I was constantly teased and made aware of my physical differences from the average. One day, one of the boys we played soccer with mentioned how the earth was shaking because I was running. That was the day I could no longer pretend the teasing didn’t hurt. I left the field under the pretense I was tired and cried my eyes out at home. The next day, I decided I no longer wanted to give others a reason to tease me and the only way I knew how to change the situation was to start exercising. So I inserted my Madonna cassette tape and started doing jumping jacks, which led to high knees & anything else that I thought was exercise and would make me sweat. I remember feeling in control, empowered and really enjoying that feeling of catching my breath and the sweat! I kept going for days, months, years… but without any emotional support or formal coaching/training, the physical and mental exhaustion with overtraining led to depression and an unhealthy lifestyle of eating “enough,” but working out even more. An unintentional battle with anorexia in college, landed me in the hospital for two nights for dehydration. This forced me to make a change again. I had to change how I was nourishing my body and exercising. Through self-education, I realized skinny was not the answer, healthy was! When healthy became my goal, the rest of life fell into place. Each time I have come across a new challenge, I have been able to work through it with overall health and wellness at the forefront of my life. Now when I look back at my teenage pictures, I can still relate because if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be the person I am today and for that I am grateful!
I experienced postpartum depression after the birth of both of my beautiful daughters. I was gratefully able to work through each of these challenges by relying on my relationship with fitness and the healing it brings to mind, body, and spirit. (There are many variations of postpartum depression and the accompanying struggles each includes, and I do understand and respect that many women struggle with challenges that exercise alone cannot resolve.)
I am also grateful to exercise for helping me truly realize a work-life balance.
The “life” part of the balance usually refers to family and social life. Rarely does “fitness” become part of that discussion, which really is the key to make that balance a reality. According to a recently published article for Thrive Global by Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford, “job stress… is killing us — accounting for up to 8% of annual health costs and leading to 120,000 excess deaths every year in the United States.” Forbes’ article “Is Sitting the new smoking?” dives deep into why employers must talk about “how healthy habits can improve employee energy, focus, mood and performance”, which adds to efficiency and productivity for organizations. But are physical and mental health metrics measured and put on the scorecard? Not even close. Employers need to make employee health needs part of Corporate and Social responsibility and individuals as employees must demand it.
The stress of trying to create the work-life balance has led to epidemic health issues that unfortunately have become so common -- obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancer etc., plus mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and more. I have seen first-hand through my 15+ years life in Corporate America professionals developing these conditions over the course of time & further deteriorating work-life balance. My motivation to create Sweat At Zero Fitness or SWAZFit is to be part of the solution to the epidemic. And helping others learn the foundational elements to make exercise a part of life, a habit like many other things such as brushing, showering etc. It really can be as simple as that -- it’s about planning, a proactive thoughtful approach, accountability and commitment without food deprivation. I also love giving back through partnership with It’s For Charity by teaching Pups and Pilates and Groovy Yoga events to spread joy through fitness.
I feel so lucky that I can share my experience, knowledge and love for fitness to make positive long-term changes. So excited and looking forward to be part of your sweaty happily ever after!