‘Physical appearance doesn’t matter. What is important is how fit you are.’

At 42, Shilpa Shetty Kundra is evidence to the power of good genes and healthy living. For nearly 25 years, we have watched her grow, learn, stumble, pick herself up and reach new heights in movies and on TV, and we have discovered that the irresistibly vulnerable, determined, sassy, fun-loving, woman-next-door persona that made her a household name is who she really is. Her second book, The Diary Of A Domestic Diva, is out this month, and a wellness app is underway. If there’s only one piece of advice the super-fit star could give you, it would be this: “It’s all about the gut. If you start taking care of your gut, it automatically reflects on your skin.” It’s the kind of wholesome, inside-out philosophy of wellness that she hopes to spread the word about. 

Curated from Femina.in

Do you feel you are more beautiful and at peace with yourself in your 40s than you were in your 20s?
I look better today than I looked 20 years ago. Firstly, you cannot buy experience. Secondly, I’m into advanced yoga today. I attribute my understanding of life to yoga. It teaches one to get better at life and live by aligning the mind, body and soul. I started doing yoga when I was in my late 20s primarily to treat a cervical spinal cord injury. But, it gave me a software upgrade that nothing else could. Yoga is a science that was made to help you get over sorrow. Even Shivji taught pashupata yoga to Parvati after marriage to help her master the animal instinct and bring about a certain calm. 

What would you have done differently in your 20s now that you know more about beauty and wellness?
Makeup wise, I would keep it simple. I used too much eyeliner and wore dark lip colours in my 20s. More importantly, I’d drink enough water and focus on cleansing from the inside out. We are perpetually using collagen-reviving creams but all that is not going to work if you are not healthy from inside.

“First and foremost, breathe properly. Also, practise gratitude, it helps you age gracefully.”

 What kind of body image do you wish to instil in your son Viaan?
Physical appearance doesn’t matter. What is important is how fit you are. Viaan sees Raj and me work out in the gym at home and do yoga. He enjoys doing gymnastics and takes care of himself by eating fruits and staying away from aerated drinks.

It’s heart-warming to see you reconnect with Raveena Tandon Thadani and Rekha on Super Dancer 2. Do you exchange wellness advice?
When I was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, Raveena had come home and she wanted to take a photo. I was reluctant because I had swollen up but she said, ‘This one is for posterity because this is the only time I will look thinner than you.’ So that is the kind of camaraderie we share. Rekhaji’s discipline is worthy of emulation. 

What do you attribute to looking younger and stronger?
They say you start to age when you lose enthusiasm for life. I don’t think I will ever age because I can never lose that zest for life. For me it’s about feeling good about myself.

What are you like around the house?
I’m in mostly my T-shirt and track pants, and I don’t wear makeup. My home and family are very important to me. But it is my work routine that keeps me going. I’m busier today than I was in my 20s. I start my day early at 7 am with my son, and try to leave for work around the same time as he goes to school. I try to wrap work by 6.30 pm, so that I’m back home for dinner by 7 pm. And I don’t work on Saturdays and Sundays.

How do you strive for balance between fame and conscious living?
I’ve not done a movie for 11 years now, but people still recognise me. So my idea of fame has got to do more with respect and love. But now the consciousness of how people should remember me has suddenly set in. Alfred Nobel was making dynamites when he lost his brother Ludvig. 
The press got them confused and printed Alfred’s obituary instead. They said: ‘The merchant of death is dead.’ So he decided to allocate 14 per cent of his wealth towards the establishment of a prize that would recognise the best work done by professionals in various fraternities. I don’t want to be remembered as an actor, but as someone who propelled people to look inwards and get on the right path to wellness. When a brand comes to me and wants to leverage my name, then I make sure that this is a product people can blindly buy.

Is there a way to reverse or slow down the ageing process?
First and foremost, breathe properly. It reflects on the exterior of course, but, also helps in regeneration of new cells. The body undergoes a metaphysical change every 12 years and what breathing does is make sure that rejuvenation process happens smoothly. Also, practise gratitude, it helps you age gracefully. 

What are your thoughts on cosmetic enhancement procedures like botox, fillers and plastic surgery?
If there is something that will give you little more confidence, by all means, do it. Enhancing is one thing, but to get addicted to it is another—and everything has side-effects in the long term.

How do you see yourself at 50?
How I age is secondary, as long as I’m in good health.

Feature image source: thetimesofindia.com

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