Shaily Chopra, an advertising executive in her late twenties from Delhi, was often addressed as the cute, chubby one. These harmless comments didnt go down well with her, and in 2020, she decided to change things around. And changed she has. Heres her story.Starting OutEarlier last year, India went into a lockdown, which meant, Chopra, like many others, began working from home. Her job profile required her to sit at one place for long; add to that, her unhealthy dietary habits. Result? Increased weight. I wanted to do something for myself and it had to begin by losing weight. I resolved make a change. Although, I wasnt sure if I would be able to keep at it owing to the lockdown, but still wanted to give it a shot, she says.The first step she took after deciding to undertake the fitness journey was to check her Body Mass Index (BMI), and vitamin levels. Goes without saying, the results shook her. I knew I was overweight but seeing it on paper gave me a much needed reality check. That's when I decided to take this not-so-easy fitness route seriously, she explains.She started with modifications in her meals, I made healthier swaps in my diet. For instance, I switched to dry fruits or a dark chocolate instead of sugary treats whenever I craved for something sweet and healthy homemade snacks replaced chips.. I included carbs in breakfast and avoided them for dinner, and increased veggie content in my meals. Additionally, I started eating small portions every two to three hours. Considering we were in lockdown, more often than not, I cooked my meals. I made it a point to include one cheat meal every week so that I dont get bored of eating healthy, elaborates Chopra.Exercise played an equally important role in her fitness journey. I resorted to yoga, cardio and strength exercises, and worked out for 30 minutes every day, Chopra states.Every Step CountsTo never lose track of her progress, Chopra maintained a log of her weekly progress. I wanted to progress slowly instead of going for a crash diet so as to sustain the results for long. My goals were measurable and achievable. I started following dieticians, tried out the healthy recipes on social media, and read relevant articles, which helped me stay focused. Moreover, acquiring a fitness buddy, who shares the goal with you can make a huge difference. We used to discuss progress now and then, and motivated each other, elaborates Chopra.Within months, she began noticing visible changes. I had more energy for chores, and I felt upbeat in general. Its common for you to stay motivated when you see progress. I rewarded myself with new clothes, small outings (with all the safety measures in place) every now and then.Myths And LessonsWhen an individual kick-starts a journey, those around give you a variety of opinionssome facts, some not. You have to research and go to the right source for information. The biggest myth that I harboured was that one cant lose weight without compromising on food. I learnt the key is to watch your portions, and opt for healthier swaps, Chopra reiterates. Another lesson came in the form of staying focused on your goals. You have the power to make amends so, never lose sight of what you want. I was overweight all my life, but one day I decided to make a change. I was focused, and I did it! she shares happily.Word For The WiseWhen asked if she had any advice for those looking to travel the same road, she says, Just start from today, do not push it to tomorrow. Do not skip meals. Make sure you are not eating heavy meals for dinner. Avoid processed food, instead cook your own tasty meals. Even while going out, keep a check on the portion size and try to have soups and salads before meals and limit yourself to one or two drinks. Combine it with a good exercise regime. It will take time, but focus on your goal. It will all be worth it in the end.