Do what they love and love what they do –Deanne Panday If you have come across Deanne Panday’s Instagram page or read one of her three best selling books, you would know that this popular fitness expert and author creates a positive and happy vibe in whatever she does or wherever she goes. Deanne has embraced yoga and a healthy lifestyle 20 years back and since then there has been no looking back. Today the mother of two travels around the world helping people embrace a holistic lifestyle. Her first two books “Shut Up And Train” and “I’m Not Stressed” are best selling books that gained massive popularity and acceptance among the audience. During the COVID-19 pandemic that has shaken the world to its core, Deanne decided to channel her energy and expertise in writing the third book “Balance”. The Voice of Woman had an enriching and insightful conversation with the magnificent Deanne Panday. Read on to learn more about your favorite health and wellness coach. 1. How important is it for women to become financially independent? What are some of the key tips that need to be followed? Being a woman, we play multiple roles and undertake a lot of chores at home and outside. Somewhere down the line, we get so busy being there for everyone that we forget that financial security is of utmost importance. I have raised my daughter to be self-sufficient so that in the future she isn’t dependent on her spouse if any problem arises. This kind of empowerment brings a sense of fulfillment. Having certain financial independence is something that women should do for themselves, it’s a form of self-love! It allows you to spend without being answerable to anyone. Read about: “I Never Needed Any Man To Support Me Financially”: Nanighar Founder, Debjani Mookherjee It gives a sense of achievement and pride, when you are earning yourself and sets a very good example for kids who can look up to and emulate you. All women should have a career and it also starts showing results if they do what they love and love what they do! I started getting my financial independence only after I married and had 2 children. I then turned my passion, fitness, into a career. And when you are passionate about something, it will reap benefits. Women need to do things that they care about because a lot of people are stuck in 9 to 5 jobs and hate it but are doing it just for the money. I would suggest women learn budgeting and saving, set goals, and get proper education and guidance about their work and achieving those goals. 2. Your book ‘Balance’ is an inspiring memoir and you have spoken about Jane Fonda being an inspiration, what has been a life-altering moment for you? Jane Fonda was my inspiration when I was young because she was one of the few fitness icons at that time who had workout videos. It was she who got me into fitness and I started feeling so good about it. You can buy the book here. My elder sister used to buy Jane Fonda’s workout cassette and we would follow her workouts and that had been a life-altering moment for me. Then at the age of 16, I started doing yoga, at 17 I began gyming and started getting strong and fit. The important thing was that I started feeling so good after working out. As I grew older, whenever there was an issue in my life, I hit the gym and then it helped me deal with a problem in a calm and level-headed way. This became the way of my life! Today, it has helped me become the person that I am! I am invited to wellness retreats all over the world and I give talks on nutrition, fitness and wellness. I also conduct wellness workshops. I am also a motivational speaker and have my weekly blogs and also coach corporates through webinars. 3. The pandemic has brought about a lot of negativity, can you please share few tips to remain positive during these trying times? The pandemic has brought about a lot of anxiety and fear and this is the time to look within you and introspect. At the beginning of my book ‘Balance’, I have written about 20 things that I have stopped doing. I have stopped judging people because when you do that you love them more. It’s been 5 years that I have stopped watching TV and the news and been over 2 decades that I don’t eat red meat. I consciously stay away from negative energy. For the last 17 years, I have been practicing this and it has made me very positive in the mind, body, and soul. During this period, it’s important to not stress and be anxious because it’s self-harming and can be a vicious cycle. People can start doing yoga, meditation or even dance, run up and down the stairs, start cycling- because you’re one workout away from a good mood. I never count calories or go on the scale, my workout depends on how I feel. I don’t work out to lose weight, I work out for health. There are days when I don’t feel like working out because I know I have done enough the other 4-5 days. During the pandemic, I urge people to stay positive by doing yoga, meditation, doing home cooking, spending time with family and kids, watching positive entertainment shows, and reading books. Right now it’s important to heal from within, and be strong for your loved ones and be the source of light and positive energy. 4. How has the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown changed you as a person? For the last 17 years, I have embraced a fit lifestyle, I started experiencing a positive side to me and a fearless mind. If there is no fear, then your mind would be limitless. I do everything straight from my heart and try to remain clean and pure from my heart. I am extremely healthy with my eating habits, workout and lifestyle choices, so, everything falls into place. I always try to make things work for me. The pandemic hasn’t changed me rather it has made me a stronger person. I was anxious initially but I knew that a lot was going on around me, so, I had to remain strong. I started doing home workouts and sharing in on social media to motivate people and urging them to remain strong. I also completed my book during this time. You can give back to the world only when you are fulfilled and happy from within. My book Balance works towards these same goals and it has helped a lot of people and it is needed by one and all. 5. We often follow diets to lose weight but you have spoken against blindly following trends, can you give a more holistic approach to eating right? I have never believed in diets. From our childhood, we always ate balanced meals and ate on time. I eat all food groups, rice but try to avoid sugar and fried items. In a day 90%, I eat healthily and 10% I eat unhealthily, this prevents any craving. Not all diet works, though some of them are backed by scientific evidence like Keto, Mediterranea and Ayurvedic, any diet only works for a short time. I am against any kind of obsessiveness with dieting. I follow a mix of a vegan and vegetarian diet. I avoid milk and dairy products and sugar. Instead, I have a lot of superfoods, herbs, organic supplements, and occasionally I have eggs. 6. You have explained the importance of a relationship beautifully in “Balance”, how can we forge and maintain a strong relationship in the current scenario when we are completely isolated from our loved ones? The current generation is always on their phones, even when the family has sat down to eat, every member is on their phone. I feel this is the time to spend with our loved ones, creating memories and doing chores together. You can use this period to get to know your family a little better because you won’t get this time back when things get back to normal. I am spending a lot of time with my husband, son, mother and my pets because we are otherwise so busy and hardly have time! To forge and strengthen any relationship, it’s important to understand the other person, be compassionate and try to control your emotions like anger, frustration, and irritation. Whenever you feel your emotions getting the better of you, take a break, go for a walk, and then get back and sort matters by talking calmly! 7. How important is it for women to acknowledge toxicity in their marriages and how can she step out? Women need to have self-respect! An average Indian woman is always looking out for others apart from herself. Marriage should be a 50-50 partnership, your husband should respect you and love you for the person that you are. A man shouldn’t get insecure if his spouse is doing better than him financially. Know about: Leave The Toxicity Behind:7 Signs Your Friend Doesn’t Respect You! To get out of any toxic relationship, it’s important for women to be financially independent, so that she doesn’t have to live on her husband’s aid and she can walk out. If there is any kind of abuse, it’s important to put your foot down and say no. Self-love and having a voice are also very important. There is only one life and you certainly deserve to be happy. 8. Women often receive death threats and are commented on their physicality, how can a girl deal with these nuisances? These untoward things happen a lot, especially on social media. My daughter had to undergo something very unpleasant but she reported these people and wrote extensively about trolling. Even when I conduct live sessions on Instagram sharing my knowledge with people, there were some people in the audience who made nasty comments. It is imperative to ignore such people. But we should also voice against such practices and take necessary actions against them. People need to understand that those they are targeting are also humans with hearts and have our challenges and problems. 9. Share a message for the readers of The Voice Of Woman. I would like to say that we are going through very difficult times and it is important to reach out to loved ones and be a helping hand to everyone. Also, be positive and stay away from negative energies and most importantly abstain from judging people. It is important to embrace spirituality which can be in the form of praying, charity, or yoga. My husband has a charitable school for underprivileged children and if you have the means then it’s important to give and help those who do not have it. My book “Balance” is the story of my life’s journey and I would urge everyone to read it and they will find it helpful. Man doesn’t need a lot of things to survive, some food on his plate, air to breathe and a roof over his head! Be happy. Be positive.