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Body Positivist Monica Sahu Shares the Importance of Accountability

Monica Sahu
4 min read

Monica Sahu is a body positivist cum fitness enthusiast. These two terms are not often found together on India’s Instagram pages, but they quickly gain acceptance because of their importance. Monica’s social media journey began in 2014, and as of 2021, her Instagram profile has 30.3K followers. 

With experience as a hotelier and banker, Monica brings the knowledge from her previous professions into digital marketing to ensure that the posts she shares are authentic. Her page is a safe space for all body types and fitness levels. The positivity found in her comments sections is infectious.

Accountability is the motto behind her page, and in 2019 she took it one step further. Monica wrote and released her first book, “A Family of Strangers.” 

I recently had a chat with Monica about her fitness journey online and offline and how it led to the release of her first book.

 

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A post shared by MONICA SAHU (@monica25101990)

Viswamitra: What does social media mean to you?

Sahu: My journey in social media has been almost as long as India has had social media. I have a responsibility to the thousands of people following me and I have to bring the best to the table. I’ve studied nutrition too, so I’m bringing up researched facts about lifestyle and diet. Knowing so many fields helps protect and promote accountability, which is much needed in social media these days.

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V: What has your journey on social media been like with respect to your fitness journey?

S: In Jan. of 2014, a few months after I quit my 9-to-9 banking job, I decided to change my lifestyle. I wanted to change how I looked and wanted to feel healthier and connected to my body. Sentences like ‘lose a little weight, you’d be even prettier!’ I’ve heard all my life! I was that chubby kid! Instead of changing my outside look, I changed my outlook towards healthy living. In the beginning, I too focussed on inches and the scale, but losing weight did not always correlate with getting stronger and healthier. I realised that the words ‘fit’ and ‘fat’ are flung around without being understood. A good sleep cycle, good digestive processes, sound mental health — these things matter as much, if not more than looking a certain way. And that’s when I started working on body-positive fitness.

 

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A post shared by MONICA SAHU (@monica25101990)

V: How does your debut book, “A Family of Strangers,” stem from your social media body positivist experience?

S: My social media journey has helped me gain confidence in putting myself out there in more ways than one. First, it started with fitness content. Then I moved on to speak up about social and global issues. And when I found the need to talk about matters of the heart, I felt that I was ready to write and publish my first book finally, so I went ahead and created a story of my own. 

As accountability is the first and foremost thing I keep in mind as a content creator, it felt natural for my first book to touch on accountability in relationships! In this day and age, when people play fast and loose with rules, especially in matters of the heart, I wanted to show the other side — what people experience when their honest approach isn’t matched or reciprocated by someone in their lives.

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V: What is your book “A Family of Strangers” about, and who is it for?

S: It’s a book that you can read from any part of the globe. My characters don’t have specific names or locations because I wanted everyone to relate to them. If you’ve been in any phase of a relationship, you can understand this book.

My story has three women in three different phases of life: a wife, a mom of two kids, and an older woman who has a grown-up child who is married. They each have entirely different responsibilities! The book is about their relationships with their children and partners. There’s a male character as well, and he’s one of the most compelling characters in the book! Without giving anything away, the book is about dealing with relationships in all phases of life.”

V: Why was writing this book important to you?

S: I have always wanted to write a book. This story is the first among many that I’m working on. Relationships in all forms need to be discussed, especially in the world we live in today. People don’t even know the person they’re sleeping with. You can’t trust people you’re committed to these days. It’s mainly caused by a lack of communication abilities, which, ironically, is not talked about enough! Maybe you feel inadequate with your partner, friend, or family, that you’re not doing enough for them. There are so many aspects to a relationship and how it affects someone. Talking about this in the form of a story felt like a good start.

I had a wonderful team! The book launched right before the pandemic giving us time to have my book at a book festival! It was a huge boost to know that what I had done was worth it. I’m currently working on my next story!

 

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A post shared by MONICA SAHU (@monica25101990)

Monica’s book ‘ A Family of Strangers’ can be bought from Amazon here. To keep updated with her fitness journey, follow her on her Instagram page.  

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