Mozhi actor Ramya Subramanian, who made her debut as an anchor at the age of 15, says she faced body shaming that forced her to resort to extreme measures, from cutting back drastically on food to working out constantly to hide her “flaws”.
Popularly known as VJ Ramya, she is now also a health coach, and has just launched Stop Weighting, (published by Penguin), a book that pivots on her own journey to fitness. “This book is about my story, my journey, and I have put forth everything, including the mistakes I have made,” she says, adding that she hopes to guide readers on “what to do and what not to do,” in addition to sharing healthy recipes and exercise guidelines, as well as tips on skincare, hair care and mental health.
Ramya’s journey began when she discovered weight training. “It was a game changer as it made feel confident. I participated in power lifting competitions where I achieved gold medals in several competitions. This brought a major change in the behaviour of many people as they never imagined this sari-clad girl as a power lifter. Soon, many approached me to seek tips on how I lost weight.”
She says, “Many people have told me about their depression when their friends or relatives body shame them. The conversations usually begin with ‘You have become thin, lost too much weight or gained weight’ instead of ‘How are you/How do you feel today’. I think society needs to change its perception.”
Showing love through food, the Indian way, also has its drawbacks, she states. “Unfortunately we have been raised in a scenario where a child’s achievement is celebrated by rewarding them with their favourite food. Even during my childhood, my mom encouraged me to eat more, which resulted me in becoming a plump child.”
Ramya suggests that parents get their kids more involved in physical activities. “Playing sports helps in concentration, agility, multitasking, hand and eye coordination.”
She advises people who want to lose weight to be “aware of every meal you eat”. The actor-turned-health coach concludes, “Only discipline and consistency will help you achieve your goals.”
The book is priced at ₹399. It can be purchased online.