Sophie Choudry makes a svelte cut in her exercise gear as she swings into the Pilates studio in London for her daily fix, before her hectic schedule of shows and shoots unravels for the day. Then of course, there’s her business to manage: last year she launched her own line of detox teas.
Born and brought up in London, Choudry was surprised at the “voluptuous” tag she was labelled with in India. “I was made to feel overweight when I moved from London to Mumbai. My body has always been on the curvier side, but when people meet me and say I have lost so much weight, how do I explain to them that it is only a few kilos at the most? They make me feel like I was huge, which I never was. I think of myself as fitter now rather than skinnier,” she shares with a broad smile.
As a teen though, things were different. But it took very little to bring fitness into her life, because her mother was a fan. “She would fall asleep in Jane Fonda exercise positions because she would never complete her day without a workout. So even in London, my mum, nani and I would go to the gym together. Also, when you grow up abroad, your school encourages participation in sports. As a result, I was netball and Rounders League captain for years,” she says.
In her adult life though, it has been mostly about the diet. “I have never really been into fried food, except for french fries occasionally. I am a picky eater, even though I love food.” That’s how she’s been from childhood, she says.
“When I moved to Mumbai, I began training seriously with Zarine Watson, and then dipped into Pilates with Yasmin Karachiwala. It has been five years since I’ve been practising pilates and the results are incredible,” she says. She did experience a few severe issues with her back a few years ago, but pilates and her physiotherapist, Hemakshi Basu, helped pull her out of it. “I was able to pull off even mean moves in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa Season 7 so well. Believe me, workout and correct diet is the only way to stay fit.”
Choudry sticks to her routine of practising pilates three times a week and then alternating it with cardio, mostly through dance, a couple of times a week. Of late, she’s also been walking her puppy twice a day when she’s in Mumbai. In fact, her morning walk every single day is a staple.
Her biggest learning: “Fitness is not a fad; it is a lifestyle. Extremes do not work for long. And what works for someone else may not work for you. Walk your own path in your own shoes.”