Born perfect? Far from it! VIRAJ SAWANT brings you the stories of stars who put their blood, sweat and – most likely – tears, into achieving the unthinkable and inspiring many.
Kareena Kapoor Khan
Kareena Kapoor had a decent career going for her since the beginning. The quintessential Punjabi girl, who had films with every A list actor and was working with the who’s who of the industry, she had already crossed around 25 films by the time she decided to really make everyone sit up. Born into the Kapoor family, she was adored for her fair complexion and her typical healthy Punjabi figure. With her film TASHAN in 2008, however, she took everyone by surprise. Seen sporting bikinis for a song, her size zero figure became a new obsession for the nation!
Some loved it while some criticised her for looking anorexic but Kareena was thoroughly enjoying this newfound attention. She had lost 12 kilos and her weight had plummeted from 60 kg to 48 kg. Thrashing rumours of starving herself and being anorexic, Kareena had achieved this by getting herself onto a healthy diet plan and practising power yoga. Her daily workout was a combination of ashtang yoga, suryanamaskar and pilates. As for diet, she simply changed her eating habits and segregated her meals into small portions that were to be eaten every 2-3 hours and the results were there for you to see and marvel over!
This accidental actress, Sonakshi Sinha never meant to be a heroine. Unlike other rookie debutantes her age, she wasn’t quite the perfect size before deciding to be a part of the film industry. Sonakshi’s pictures during her college days prove that she was on the heavier side from the beginning and to get into shape, she had to literally battle it out in the gym. She lost around 30 kilos to achieve a shapelier figure and get fit to play Rajjo opposite Salman Khan in DABANGG. Her role as a voluptuous desi girl worked for her in the film. She was loved by all and managed to bag more roles of a similar kind.
It was on the red carpet and glitzy events that Sonakshi faced considerable flak from the fashion critics. With a fighter’s attitude, Sonakshi proved that being slim wasn’t the only way to look beautiful. Shooing off body shamers and not giving a damn about internet trollers, Sonakshi made sure she wasn’t an easy targets for the cyber bullies.
Currently in her best shape, Sonakshi bagged an action film where she is seen performing mixed martial arts all on her own. And looking great doing it too!
There wasn’t much buzz about Parineeti’s entry into Bollywood. A business graduate, Parineeti entered the industry as a PR for celebrities. She weighed 86 kilos and wore jeans of 38” waist size before facing the camera. It was director Maneesh Sharma who noticed the spark in her and made her an offer to play a second lead in the film, LADIES VS RICKY BAHL.
Being Priyanka Chopra’s cousin and a grand launch by YashRaj definitely helped. However, it was her acting prowess that impressed filmmakers. Bagging meaty offers, Parineeti paid no heed to her weight. But she confessed that one of the biggest problems she faced when she was overweight was dressing up. She was sick and tired of ill-fitted clothes and having limited options of what to wear. She could not wear sleeveless outfits and faced tummy issues too. After facing a series of flops at the box office, the strain began to tell. The glamour industry demands your body look not just good but great on screen.
It was apparently the top boss at YashRaj and her mentor, Aditya Chopra, who asked her to get into shape and return to join the YRF camp. She took a few months off and flew overseas for a transformation of sorts. Soon after returning, she did not reveal herself much to the media and, like a surprise gift, kept herself under wraps. She then did a photoshoot revealing her gorgeous ripped new body and boy, did she leave everyone in a shock! Parineeti was back after losing 10 kg and in a shape any actress would die to be in.
A frequent showstopper for top Indian designers and style inspiration for others, Sonam Kapoor did not start off a dazzling diva. It took a strict regimen of cardio, swimming, power yoga and Kathak to build what she is known for today. The stunning figure she flaunts that many may consider a dream, was far from perfect a decade back.
During her days in Singapore where she was studying, due to improper diet and lack of exercise, Soman touched 87 kilos. Naturally, when she was to be launched in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s SAAWARIYA, she had to shed all the extra fat and whittle down into shape. After all it was to be a dream debut. She took up the challenge and lost an astonishing amount of weight – around 32 kg, apparently! – and the results are there to see.
Sonam reportedly had several trainers involved in her weight loss. For her general fitness, Zarine Watson; for power yoga, Bharat Thakur; for weight training, Shervir and Monisha; and for Pilates, it was Yasmin Karachiwala. She also adds Kathak which is a rigorous dance form and gives her a well-toned body.
From wearing bikinis in films to gowns on the ramp, with a little sacrifice on her sweet cravings, Sonam achieved it all and how!
Born to director Mahesh Bhatt and actress Soni Razdan, Alia Bhatt always aspired to be an actress. Having watched the industry closely from a young age, her dream of being an actress was about to take off when Karan Johar decided to cast her in his film. Thrilled with this good news, the cutely plump teen had to abide with Karan’s condition. In fact, the filmmaker made it very clear to Alia that he would consider her for the lead role only if she shed 20 kilos in the following six months. At the tender age of 19, Alia had to make a serious decision: watch her dream slipping out of her fingers or taking things into her hand and chasing her dream.
She did exactly what was right for her. “It was sheer pain. I felt as if I was an ugly duckling. At first, I was embarrassed, but later felt angry that I had gone to meet a director in the shape I was in. I decided to shed weight first, meet him and take the role. Only that would redeem my self-respect,” said Alia about losing the pounds to bag her first film role.
Today the face of leading fashion brand, Alia is also the youngest actress to have a successful run at the box office. A combination of altitude training, beach running, swimming, kickboxing, weights, functional and circuit training changed her life and brought her closer to her goal.
“Being fat was part of my life. Actually, I never wanted to lose weight, content with what I was. But I knew I was lying to myself that I was happy being this way,” confessed Arjun Kapoor, with touching honesty. When Arjun began training he always knew that he couldn’t lose weight overnight. Inspired by his mentor, superstar Salman Khan who personally took him under his wing, Arjun was motivated enough not to lose hope. Salman apparently not only worked out with Arjun but also paid attention to his diet.
Arjun did it the hard way and stayed away from quick weight loss methods. It was after four patient years that he finally lost 50 kg and looked his best. A junk food-loving, fat kid who had many physical issues, had transformed into a fitness lover. Working with the leading ladies of Bollywood like Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor and more are just the perks of his hard work.
Arjun’s story is as much about motivation in addition to losing weight. Having battled emotional and physical difficulties, he managed to overcome all and emerged as one of the most sought after actors today.
Bhumi Pednekar’s weight loss story is a rather unusual one. Most girls would reject a film offer that required you to gain weight and that too 30 kilos. When she auditioned for DUM LAGAKE HAISHA, Bhumi wasn’t a slim sexy siren either. She was a chubby girl and suited the role perfectly but her director asked her to pile on the pounds for the role. For the love of acting, Bhumi agreed and hogged on to everything under the sun. While gaining weight Bhumi was even asked by people if she was depressed or unhappy, while others made fun of her!
Staying true to her character, Bhumi completed the shoot and then switched gears. Her weight loss routine included a variety of workouts, from running, working on machines and functional training, to swimming and Bollywood dancing. Not a fan of looking thin, she still maintains that only if the role demands, will she lose more weight.
Binge eating junk food caused her weight to increase during her college days. Little did this girl know that she would be offered a film opposite Salman Khan in the next few years!
Shifting to modelling from medicine, Zareen had to shed a whopping 43 kg in a year to bag a decent film like VEER and other modelling assignments. The lady took on a rigorous fitness regimen and reduced to almost half her size by the time her first Bollywood flick was ready to hit the screens in 2010.
She even took to Twitter recently and not just revealed her fitness journey but also slammed body shamers. Sharing her old pictures, Zareen posted a long letter telling the world how she was equally proud of herself when she weighed more than 100 kilos and continued to love her body when she became fit. The actress talked about her fitness journey confessing that fitness was her way of life now. Zareen thus shut down all her critics and inspired many to love their body the way they were.