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April 2012
Strong, Fit And Natural
A decade ago, Mandira Bedi bravely stepped into anchoring for cricket and brought about a change of a kind. The actor-anchor who has been on a break following the birth of her son last year, is returning with a reality show to be aired soon. Mandira talks about her fitness fundas with B Positive. The excerpts...

Anchoring for cricket - in a way you were the first woman to venture into that part of the man’s domain. How did it happen? We are in the IPL season again.

That was a long time ago – 2002-03. I had the Champions Trophy assignment in 2002; I got noticed. Sony was looking for an anchor for the 2003 World Cup and they met me in Sri Lanka. That is how it happened. I anchored an IPL show one season. No, I am not anchoring any shows this season.

How challenging was it to begin with? What did it take to blend in?
It was very challenging. It was very hard. This country is very progressive. I had a lot of extra baggage in my head. My team backed me and I think in the end I converted a lot of people.

Between anchoring and acting - did hosting Extra Innings prepare you for the role in “Meerabai Not Out”?
No. Extra Innings did not help. It had nothing to do with the film

What sports do you prefer?
I don’t play anything. I swim and I play badminton sometimes

What do you do for balancing body and mind aspects? Do you practice Yoga or martial arts?
I would love to say I do Yoga or other mind-body exercises, but no. I have tried Yoga a few times. It’s not something I stick with. I do the regular cardiovascular exercises and gym. I need exercises which make me feel tired. I need to expend energy.

What’s your fitness regime like? How do you battle weight issues?
Basically, I go to the gym. I run. Postpregnancy - now eight months after - I have reached my pre-pregnant weight. I have come back stronger and fit. I work out six days a week. Four days I do strength training, cardio the other two days. I had put on 22 kg during pregnancy. You have to push yourself. All my life I have been in the 50-51 kg range. During pregnancy I was 60, 62, 66 and saw it cross 70 kg! It was absolutely disastrous. But I knew I was committed. I had given myself a deadline of six months and I have done it. You have to mix a lot of cardio in your workout regime. For me cardio is running.

What is your daily diet?
I am a vegetarian and I eat egg. I have egg, milk and almonds in the morning. For lunch and dinner, it’s dal, roti and sabzi. Things like vada pav when I want to snack or splurge. I don’t stick to a diet regime all the time.

Are you in the size-zero bandwagon?
It’s a cliché. Starving yourself is not healthy. I am just back from the US. Over there, I really tried to understand what size zero is about. I am size 2! I don’t think it matters. What you need and what is more important is just to be healthy and fit. When shedding my pregnancy weight, my goal was not about being a cut size. It was about fitting into what’s in my own wardrobe! I didn’t buy myself new clothes into motherhood. I wanted to be able to fit into my own clothes – clothes that I already have - and now, I do.

Is there anyone you look up to as a fitness icon?
Not really. You don’t know who has made it through exercise and who has made it through plastic surgery. For me, honestly, the thought of it (cosmetic/ plastic surgery) never crossed my mind. My child was delivered through C-section and I was aware of my post-pregnancy fitness issues. I have never ever been through short cuts for how I look. I want it natural.

What is your skin care regime? What is the secret to glowing looks?
My skin has a tendency to break-up. But I don’t have an elaborate skincare regime. Basically, I use a day cream and a night cream. I moisturise before applying makeup and after removing make-up.

Who are your favourite designers?
There are quite a few! Satya Paul, Ritu Kumar, Kiran Uttam Gosh, Raghavendra Rathore and Masaba Gupta.

What do you look for in clothes and design?
I think the clothes have to appeal to me. It’s like art.

Rapid Fire:
Family: My infant son is my greatest joy
Commitment: 13 years of marriage and still counting
Cricket: National passion
Fashion: My pastime
Favourite travel spots: South Africa and the US

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