My fitness journey

My fitness journey

I am an academician by profession. I have been a teacher at the prestigious Atomic Energy Central School (BARC) for the last 20 years. After getting married and being blessed with a son and daughter, I, like most Indian women, was happily engaged in taking care of my kids and family while attending to my professional commitments. Unfortunately, this gifted me excessive weight and lifestyle related issues. I touched 96kg on the weighing scale, and was diagnosed with early symptoms of osteoporosis. This was alarming, as I was just going to be 40 years. I resolved to get rid of my excessive weight and took up long distance running in Feb 2013. Running and changing to a healthy life style helped me to shed 30 kilos, and live an active and healthy life.
As a result, I ran my first Standard Chartered Mumbai Half Marathon in January 2014. From then on, there was no looking back. Till date, I have participated in more than thirty Half Marathons, including one of the toughest HM – the Satara Hill Marathon. Slowly, I graduated from 21 km to 25 km events, and participated in the BNP Endurathon for three consecutive years. My passion for running helped me to expand my capacity and I participated in my first International Full Marathon in Amsterdam in 2017, 6 hour Midnight Run and 12 hour Mumbai Ultra in 2017 where I covered the distance of 69km. As I matured well as a marathoner, I got chosen by several marathon organisers to be associated as a motivator or pacer i.e. helping others to complete their marathon. I went deeper into the domain, and completed a certificate program in marathon training from ACSM (American college of Sports and Medicine). I started utilising my evening time to help other women and house wives to give up their sedentary life style and take up active living by forming a running group for women. But I couldn’t continue this as I got selected for a Counselling Programme at TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) where I had to attend lectures in the evening time. To keep myself fit, I also started trekking, and completed Everest Base Camp trek in 2018. I also went on a mountaineering expedition to Friendship Peak (H.P) in 2019 along with my husband who coincidentally, also runs. He is my biggest support. My family has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. In fact now our kids also accompany us on treks. The pandemic has not stalled my fitness journey, and my running continues, because somehow I’ve never felt stronger than when I feel like I can’t take another step.I strongly believe that limitations only exist if you let them.


I have hypothyroidism, so put on weight easily. That’s why I need to be very careful with my food habits. I don’t believe in following any fad diets. I feel consistency matters the most, so eat everything in moderation but avoid oily food and sweets. I prefer to have an early dinner. I never miss consuming two fruits a day and salad too. I keep trying out healthy recipes to satisfy my taste buds. I am glad to share one of them with you.



Split green gram- 1 bowl

Ginger- 1/2 inch

Green chilli- 1

Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Asafoetida (hing) – 1-2 pinch

Salt- As per taste

Clarified butter (ghee) – for roasting the chilla

Preparation method

Take a bowl of moong dal, and wash properly with water. Soak for 2 to 3 hours. In a mixie jar, put soaked moong dal, chili, ginger, salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida, and water (2 tbsps). Grind it into a fine paste. Check the consistency of the batter before preparing the chilla. Heat a pan (tawa) and sprinkle some water on it. Wipe it with a tissue paper or cotton cloth.Take a small amount of batter (2 tbsps) and spread wide around the tawa with a light hand. Cook it for 1 minute on a medium flame. Apply ghee on the chilla. Carefully flip it over, and cook the other side for a few seconds. Then flip it back. Your crispy moong dal chilla is ready to munch on with your favourite chutney.

At the end, I would like all of you to follow a very simple healthy tip – drink at least 2.5 litres of water in a day. It will not only keep you hydrated, but will also help you to reduce weight.

Ms. Balwinder Arora

(M.A., M.Phil., B.Ed., PG Diploma in Counselling Skills (TISS) & Marathon Training Certificate holder)

The views mentioned in the article above are of the writers alone.

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