Beyond Beauty—Avika Gor on settling in your skin
Lipika Varma gets an exclusive interview with actor Avika Gor, who gets talking about her long journey to becoming fit, eating healthy, and taking the internet by storm with one single sizzling click.
What is your fitness mantra?
I don’t have any particular fitness mantra, because I am really lazy (chuckles). At one point, I did not respect my body enough but now I understand that being fit isn’t about being slim, it’s just about feeling better. Now that I’m eating better I have been noticing a lot of difference emotionally and physically too. I can notice the difference in my skin; it’s glowing and I feel peppy. The day you decide to be fit, nothing can stop you. There was a time I saw myself and felt unhappy. I never thought I looked good but now when I look at myself I have that feeling that I didn’t see my own potential. I feel sorry about that.
What was the weight-loss experience like for you?
It took a lot of time in my case. I followed no diet mantra. I just did that balancing act with the calories. How much ever eat, you need to burn. That is what excited me and I did that. I get bored of things easily so every day I would do different things, right from yoga to pilates to boxing, running, cardio, and weights. My fiancé Milind Chandwani made sure I do different things, so I don’t get bored. I was quite saddened after working for almost one year. There was no noticeable weight loss. My body had become rigid. I ate home cooked food- dal- rice hence weight loss was going at a slow pace. I wanted my body to get used to my eating pattern. It builds muscles as I don’t diet. My workouts involve less cardio. My parents would cajole me to continue with the exercises. I had almost given up, but because of their advice I tried to remain patient and kept at it. I decided to give myself a little more time.
How has the reaction been from your supporters, and how crucial is that for you?
Everyone liked my transformation. I mentioned my weight loss wasn’t done on diet. Thus weight loss did not give me any weakness. Usually weight loss gives weakness to a lot of people. I remember people warning me about the weakness. I did not want to follow unhealthy ways. Whatever pictures I posted on social media, I don’t look weak. So my fans were not posting any negative comments, they were appreciative of it. My captions on the pictures worked for me. When I started sharing my pictures, I honestly spoke about everything I went through.
You took Instagram by storm with your click in a swimsuit? What was that moment all about?
I just had one picture clicked during a vacation and posted it. It wasn’t planned. Nothing wrong with wanting to show off your body. It’s not about flaunting; it’s about being comfortable in any kind of attire. When you have no doubts about your persona you can go ahead clicking pictures. I am so comfortable in my skin, that these days while taking a flight I do not wear any makeup. It’s as good if you are proud of something you don’t mind showing it.
What’s your take on artificial methods to enhance one’s look?
I have personally done nothing artificial like a lip job or anything in order to look different. When I see my own photographs that show me before and after, I believe the transformation isn’t just because of the weight loss, it’s also because my habits have changed. I’ve been especially careful with what I eat. They say you are what you eat, and I really believe in that now.
How has the experience been like working in the industry in the South?
Down south, kilos aren’t an issue. Even now, the director of a movie I shot before lockdown told me, ‘Please put on weight.’ I told him, ‘Now that I have lost weight, please don’t tell me that.’
- Nothing wrong with wanting to show off your body.