The Vivacious Girl Next Door
Parineeti Chopra has won plenty of hearts, looks a million bucks and is undoubtedly one of the most talented actresses in Bollywood. With a happy go lucky attitude and versatile acting skills, she is clearly a class apart. However, due to her weight issues, she was body-shamed in the industry until her fitness regime took a three sixty degree turn. Post a detox regime and a conscious decision to shape up, what we now have is a svelte, super confident and stylish Parineeti. The bubbly actor is gearing up for a slew of movies- Meri Pyaari Bindu, Takadum and Golmaal series. Here’s a snappy chat on how she beat the bulge despite being a compulsive foodie and life beyond movies!
Actor Parineeti Chopra talks about what it took to find a “sexier” version of herself.
Q: Tell us something about the new you.
I wouldn’t say it’s the new me. It’s just an old me in a new package. In fact, I am still a ‘work in progress’. I have been able to achieve only 75 percent of my target so far. It took me almost a year to get the kind of body I possess now.
Q: How do you feel now?
This is the fittest I have ever been in my life and I love it. I have always been a happy person and I have started to feel happier. This new-found fitness has provided me with a lot more stamina, energy, and flexibility. And it started to reflect on my work. I feel less tired now and I listen better.
Getting fitter is just like getting a new haircut. It changes the way you look, and also changes your outlook towards a lot of things in life. You start to feel amazing and it’s hard to feel depressed. Earlier, I was a lazy person – a couch potato who’d love watching TV while eating a slice of cheesy pizza. Since I’ve started to look better, there is a lot of change in me. Even my relationship with my body has changed drastically. To sum it up, a good physical health equals good mental health.
Q: Do you feel more confident to sport a backless dress or a crop top?
My confidence level has increased manifold and I feel sexier than before. Earlier, I wouldn’t wear sleeveless tops, peek-a-boo dresses or ensembles that exposed even a hint of my cleavage. Now, I can wear them all. In fact, even before I wear an outfit, I can visualise myself in it. I have undergone a style transformation. Since I have dropped a few sizes, most of my old clothes don’t fit me. I have a fun, experimental and updated wardrobe.
Q: Tell us about your workout regimen. How did you choose it?
I hate going to the gym, running on treadmills, or lifting weights. I like keeping it fun and relaxed because that is when you are sure to get results. Moreover, there are days when I simply don’t feel like stepping out of my home and forcing myself to exercise.
I opted for mixed workouts so that I didn’t get bored of doing just one thing. When you experiment with new forms of exercise, you stay motivated on a daily basis. I love dancing for an hour or two. I often go for a swim or practise Kalaripayattu (a form of martial arts from Kerala), with the help of my trainer. I hit the gym once in a while. It’s important to be consistent, stay active and sweat it out.
Q: What about dietary changes?
I do not follow any particular diet and I never did. If anybody tells me to stop eating chocolates or pizzas, I won’t be able to do it. I have always fulfilled my cravings but the only difference is that the quantity on my plate has decreased. Now, I have limited portions of everything. Also, every time I indulge in a fatty food item, I balance it out by either having a light meal for dinner or burning more calories the next day. I have also consulted a specialist to understand what suits my body and what food items are good for my skin, hair and overall health.
Q: Your fitness?
I have realized that losing weight is just another mind game. What you need is that final push when you tell yourself: “It’s enough. I am not going to be this way anymore.” You need to decide from within that you will spare time for exercise, come what may. Once this happens, you are already halfway there.
Q: Tell us how you perceive yourself now?
I love the way I look and feel now. This is the fittest I have ever been in my life. You can see the new me. I was always unfit and over-weight. It has taken me a year to get the kind of body that you can see now. I think I have achieved seventy five percent of my target so far, I still have a long way to go. I have always been a happy person, but I am happier now, with a lot more stamina, energy and flexibility. If you feel shackled you may give up. Good physical health equals to good mental health.
Q: What does your diet regimen look like?
I have never followed any diets and I cannot do without pizzas or chocolates. What has changed drastically is the quantity of it on my plate, which has decreased and has gone limited. Besides if I indulge in anything sinful or calorie laden, I work out more the next day or have a lighter meal. If I cheat, I do so in the afternoon and balance out the following days. I also have someone to guide me over the food I eat which is apt for my skin, hair, and health. Also I avoid eating after 8pm.
Q: How difficult has it been to avoid junk food, for a self -confessed foodie to attain the hard earned frame? Feeling more confident?
I love food. You know, sitting in bed, watching TV and eating a lot of food, has been my hobby. It is tough to stay away from sinful food but it’s worth to see the amazing results. Besides, it has taken me over a year to shed all the weight for which I worked hard every single day. I have always wanted to look fitter, toned, wear better clothes. I feel healthier, I have more stamina. I feel fresher when I wake up and feel happy with my work. I guess that’s showing, and I want to maintain this. It’s the result of everything I do, whether it’s a photo shoot, an ad, or a film; I can see the difference.
Q: Please throw light on your fitness schedule?
I dislike going to the gym, so treadmill is a no-no and monotonous for me. I do martial arts Kalaripayattu Kalaripayattu Kalaripayattu from Kerala and freewheeling exercises with a trainer who gives me varied techniques. I swim regularly. I work out four to five days a week. There can be a replacement to gym but not to exercise.
Q: What is the ultimate health mantra?
Healthy body is a healthy mind. Take care of what goes into your body. A lot of water, good diet, good sleep, good workout, and a clean environment works immensely. One can take any functional training route to stay fit, from jogging at home, dancing, yoga, to climbing stairs. You just have to drastically push it!
Q: Your tip to beauty and hair would be?
Keep it simple by sticking to basics. Of course, you are what you eat so keep in mind what goes into your body. Drink lots of water and get ample sleep. Buy only the products that suit you the best. That’s all you need. I take off my make-up with a make-up remover, wash it with a face wash and moisturize it. A good moisturizer is all that my dry skin needs.
Q: You moved into your own house which you bought sometime ago. How does it feel to have your own space bought in the maxim city?
I was dying to have a house in Mumbai and it has finally happened due to God’s grace. I hoped to own a cozy, comfortable apartment with a stunning view. Having bought this apartment in the suburb of Khar in Mumbai I have indulged myself decorating it to suit my preferences & taste. Buying a house in Mumbai is a big thing. I am so thankful that I have got my own house. It’s my space and I own it. I have lived in a rented place for the longest time for five years. My parents also feel that I have achieved something. It’s a proud feeling. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be moving into my own home, since it’s been a lifelong dream!
Q: You wanted to be a skilled diver, you fell in love with scuba diving in Bali and now we hear you got yourself a license after training at a dive club?
Diving is like meditation. It really is one of the most peaceful, exhilarating and exciting experiences of my life. Underwater is absolutely silent and one gets to see a whole different world; things you never see on land. It’s a lot like flying, only you are under water. I am a water-baby, I love spending 4-5 days on an island diving, where you are cut off from the world and completely at peace.
Q: You are thrilled to be a part of Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal series?
I was always cuckoo. No wonder they thought of me for this film. No one can fill in Kareena’s shoes, she lent a different charm to the story. Having said that, no actor is capable of doing a lesser or better job than the other. Mine is a completely new character and won’t have hangover of any of the previous films in the series. I am expecting to have a blast. It is a Rohit Shetty set. I have heard so many stories about how he pampers his crew. As actors, we tend to be greedy and want to do all kinds of movies. This is my chance to do a film which I would like to watch.
Q: While shooting for Meri Pyaari bindu, Ayushmann became your singing buddy?
He has become a close friend of mine, I have found a co-star whom I can sing as much as I want. He doesn’t stop me but joins me.
Q: What about Takadum?
I am nervous and very excited to work with Irrfan Khan. He keeps you on your toes. I am excited to work with Sushant again. Homi Adajania comes from a different school of filmmaking.
Q: There is nothing on the romantic front in your life?
Right now, there’s nothing. However, I have opened my heart to a relationship. I want somebody to come into my life. So, hopefully, it should happen soon. I am putting out the message into the universe. With the kind of place I am in, emotionally and personally, I would love to be with someone.