Fitness diary: Ayesha Billimoria
Ayesha Billimoria is a serious athlete (she’s not the track queen for nothing), sports trainer (who whips most of Mumbai into shape), ambassador for Adidas 100 days of running, and even a model. Her Instagram handle @fitgirl.india is enough to make you jog a mile, do a handstand, throw in a few pushups, and then some. (Or at at least make you wish that you could). So when she talks about her fitness routine, you better pay attention, because as far getting fit is concerned, there’s no better role model.
How did you get into sports?
I got into sports when I was 8 years old (1995) andwas in a boarding school in Ooty where there was very little pressure on studies and more encouragement towards outdoor activities, sports, art. And I played every sport that was offered to us - baseball, basketball, throwball, volley, and football.
Do you enjoy training other people?
I enjoy teaching, it doesn't matter how many people I train. I believe knowledge is to be passed on so that we can grow. The part I enjoy the most is when others hurt :).
How do you begin your day?
I start my day with home made curd or dates or bananas. Depends on what the morning has in store. The days I train I eat dates and bananas. The days I have work I eat a yoga or nut bar + curd. I am very moody and temperamental, so I meditate when I’m in the mood. But running is more meditative for me than anything else.
What’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks?
Breakfast is a mix again. Eggs, muesli, corn flakes, granola and yogurt, idli, fruits, coconut water. Lunch is rice with some curry or dal. Parsis need rice in the afternoon for a good siesta afterwards. Dinner depends on whats cooked at home - pasta, vegetables, pulses, with chapati. I snack on everything. Mostly chocolates.
What about supplements?
I only take a vegan protein powder by Unived. I’m soy/lecithin allergic hence cannot digest any normal protein powder, which is filled with chemicals and poison. I also take the Amway omega 3 tablet.
How do you stay fit?
I run 3 to 4 times a week and do strength training twice a week. I enjoy stability workouts the most, and in running I enjoy speed intervals. I am a 400 metre sprinter so anything that builds up lactic tolerance gives me a high (people say I’m stupid, but they'll never know the level of stupidity till they don’t try it :) :D.
How much water do you drink?
I don’t drink enough water. I MUST. Usually it’s 3 litres max…sometimes 2 :(.
Superfoods, bars, smoothies you love?
Mango milkshake is something I swear by. The other part of my regular diet is carrot beetroot and ginger juice with wheatgrass. The snacks I swear by are Yoga Bars and makhanas. They’re healthy and child friendly :).
In your experience, what are the three things that help people lose weight?
Consistent exercise, healthy diet, and good sleep.
What is the common fitness mistake that people make?
The most common is that they think they know too much. No information or book knowledge is enough if you don’t have enough on ground experience. This results in a lot of people getting injured.
How do you motivate your students?
I don’t motivate anyone, thats not my job. My job is to teach. People need to be self driven to achieve something. (Maybe I sound a little extreme here, but that’s the truth). If you run because someone motivated you, or because you have to run to make someone happy, or prove a point, then that’s not enjoyable. To enjoy something and to be motivated you have to be willing to work for it from within. But for kids I try to make the 1-hour workouts a little fun so that they don’t get bored.