Gayathrie Maediratta is a PR Executive and a runner. Bold, driven and passionate, this amazing woman is a walking, talking self-help book (the good kind).

She is that dose of positive energy, which everyone is looking for. This is her journey…
“Boarding school made me determined and fiercely independent. I have always enjoyed a good challenge. I ran my first 10K in 2010. I did it for a laugh, but I loved the rush of getting ready for something. Now I run and workout 4-5 times a week. I wake up when everyone else is still asleep and then it’s all about me for the next hour or so. Running gives me so much in return. I’m happier, more patient, at peace and feel like I can handle life better. Running has made me everything I am today. And it’s so easy…you just wake up and run!

Every year I give myself a gift for my birthday and it’s usually a piece of jewelry. But this year I participated in the Mumbai Marathon instead. I wanted to do something that would scare the hell out of me! After I reached the 30 km mark, the animal in me came out. I was getting onto Marine Drive and I had this sudden surge of energy. I started to cheer loudly, “come on guys, we can do this!” People were looking at me like I was weird. But for me, the thoughts running through my head were, “I’m here. I’m alive. I’m running a marathon. I’m wearing tiny shorts despite my thick thighs and no one cares. We’re each doing our own thing. And it’s our time in the sun.” Perhaps I was drunk with happiness. But it was such an amazing experience, a huge personal achievement and I was very proud of myself. I took 5 hours but I finished it. My friends were at the finish line and it was an emotional moment for me. Just thinking about it gives me goose bumps.

I grew up in boarding school so my mom really pampered me with heavy food during the holidays. But the turning point came when my dad had his bypass surgery. That really shook me. Since then I’ve tried to make some small changes, like take a small plate. If the plate is big you tend to fill it with more food. Eat less at night. I’m trying to control my portions and cut down on sugar. I try to eat smaller meals through the day instead of three large meals. Typically, my breakfast is coffee, eggs and fruit. Lunch is usually some form of protein, roti, dal and lassi. In the evening I have coffee and a handful of nuts. Dinner is chicken or roti and dal. I try to eat well but I keep it simple. Running has also exposed me to many people, each with their own stories. My group of runner friends share a lot of information on food and fitness, so I try to adapt and learn from them.

I would run another marathon in a heartbeat and I know I will better my timing. When you train for a marathon it makes you mentally stronger. I trained alone this time. It gave me focus and a lot of time to introspect. I want to do a triathlon at some point. My basic goal is to look good in a bikini. I want to turn 40 in a dignified and sexy way. I want to do things better and smarter as I grow up.

When I started running, I used to buy large sized clothes. Four years ago I moved to medium. Now I buy small or even extra small. And it makes a difference to me. I feel empowered. It changed my life. You need to make memories for yourself everyday, by treating yourself and pampering yourself. And this is the way I pamper myself. It’s a luxury for me to be able to wake up and get out there. I wish more women did it. In the running community I find that a lot of women encourage each other. We feed off each other’s energy.

Do yourself a favour by getting out in the morning and doing something before work. It’s your time to party, where you can wear what you want and be your own boss. Treat your body right and look at yourself naked, because that’s your reality check. You have to be a friend to yourself, to love yourself and be proud of yourself. What you put into your body is your form of acceptance. To be healthy, to be your best, it’s a gift you give yourself.”

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