Me, anorexic???

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Today, as I was going through the morning paper I was surprised to find a little snippet on me talking about “how much weight I’d lost and the glow that went with it”. Can’t say much about the glow part (doesn’t the glow lie in the eye of the beholder?), but weight loss is another thing. What’s interesting is that the weight I’ve supposedly lost was never there to begin with!! My weight hasn’t changed (it takes work, I admit) since I was 18! What has changed is the way people look at me.

I was brought up in a family where fitness was of utmost importance, and looking “slim” was secondary. Fitness meant being healthy, having energy to go about the day and still have lots left over. It meant if we randomly decided to walk over to some one who lived 10km away we would not collapse halfway or if we planned a long trek in the mountains we’d be able to not just walk and last but be able to take in the beauty with out fatigue gnawing away. Being fit was a virtue that was instilled in me just like integrity and honesty. And it was fun. I still remember the day my father ‘allowed’ me to go jogging with him for the first time. I had been seeing him every day, take off for his 5 km mandatory jog with the dogs and would want to go with him, but he would say “wait till you’re a little older”. I was 13 when I began jogging everyday with him. It was great being able to spend quality time with him and at the same time exercise. Unsurprisingly, I was good at all sports being athletic to begin with. And I must add that being athletic does give me an edge over a lot of people, I am able to endure long working hours, run marathons, go trekking and enjoy much more of what life has to offer.

Getting back to the weighty issue at hand. I believe more than trying to be “thin”, its important to pick a realistic weight and try and remain there. Too many people loose too much weight too quickly and put it back on, eventually. And the business of putting on and loosing weight again and again is very very bad for one’s health in the long run. I have tried to keep my weight constant (of course I do on occasion go up a kilo post a holiday) over the last few years and have by and large succeeded. And this shall be my fitness goal for the years to come. Not certainly “trying to become thinner to get into skinny jeans”.

And as I said earlier on, I have not changed; it’s the way people perceive me that has changed. Most people have taken my characters in Dor and Manorama Six Feet Under very seriously (which is a complement) and believe that if I am wearing loose clothes, it probably means I am a plus size! So if I am at some do in say a tight dress or say “skinny’ jeans the automatic reaction is “ohmygod look at how skinny you are!”. And I am like, Hello??? There is another person called Gul who is not Zeenat or Nimmi. I guess its ok as long as I have the last laugh:-)
Later then.

34 Comments on “Me, anorexic???”

  1. Anderson

    Hii Gul,

    well said… in todays materialistic world vanity has got the better of most of us…. staying fit comes secondary, flaunting the ‘in’ look is of more importance to many…

    its not surprising that following a fitness regime boosts one’s energy levels and also greatly contributes to a feeling of well-being ….

    & u have rightly said that it doesn’t matter what others say so long as we have the last laugh 😉


  2. dneo

    Hi Gul,
    i totally agree with your views about people nowadays getting into the “thin” mode rather than the “healthy” mode. Most of us are brought in a manner wherein we don’t get a healthy diet; as a case we end up having eating disorders and to add to it we don’t indulge ourselves into sports. But i must say that the “thin” thing coming into the lives of people, most of them start keeping diets (which would again would have nothing to do with a healthy diet) I feel that it should be mandatory that children are taught from the begining itself as to how to take care of ones body to start with; like as u said taking a jog everyday and at least a good amount of calories in the day (people can go with having a salad)

  3. Veetrag

    Hey Gul,
    Nice to see the new post, I really liked the part ‘looking slim was secondary’, thats the way life should be, but now I see most of the people have deviated from it and being slim in #1 priority.

    I would like to call celebrities who blog as – Celebrities 2.0 😉 ( and definitely you appear in that list). I can’t express how happy I feel to see our celebrities blogging and communicating with people directly!

    PS : IMHO, I found the ‘captcha’ used for this blog a bit not-so-secure as it does not display image and allow me to copy paste directly, if you don’t fix it might give you some spam.

  4. Gul Panag

    Hi Veetrag, thanks for the feedback. Will tell the web designers about it.

    And thank you Dneo and Andy for your response. I think being healthy should be our number one priority. Particularly, when we take in to account that soon Diabetes related disorders are going to be the biggest harbingers of premature death in our country- much more than AIDS, Pneumonia, TB and malnutrition put together.
    Stay healthy.

  5. dneo

    Hi Gul,
    Once again, totally agree about diabetes getting bigger day by day (Junk food being part of it).
    Also would like to say that it feels nice to get connected to a celebrity in today’s scenario through internet; and especially you :).
    I would also like to ask whether u have seen TZP (i personally liked the movie pretty much) Would like to know your feedback about a movie related to imparting knowledge about children and esp. ‘dyslexia’
    wid loads of well wishes,

  6. dneo

    Have a wonderful life full of never ending success and happiness
    heres wishing Merry Xmas and a very Happy New Year 2008 to you and all the ones reading this 😉

  7. nisheel

    ha ha. well put Gul.
    so what is your fitness regime like ? a mix of gym/cardio/yoga or do you play a sport ?

  8. Naina

    Hi Gul… Just happened to be watching you on Zee Tv’s wild 10 with Rohit Roy, and you look fantastic. Whoever wrote that article needs to get their eyes examined!

  9. aravindha


    Nice to see you start blogging.

    I would like to applaud you for the wonderful work you did in ‘DOR’. I would like to see you take some more roles like that.

    What are the projects that you are currently working on?

    Also, congratulations on your entry into the foray of Racing 🙂

    Wish you all success!!

  10. Shishir

    Hi Gul,
    I watched the movie Dor and that was one of the best movies I have ever watched and your acting in it was simply superb, I just came across this site and tell you what, its very difficult for me to believe that I am writing to Zeenat (if not then at least to someone who is closest to her) and probably she’ll read it. Your work in Manorama 6 ft under is also appreciable, I read about your fitness regime, its really great and it reinforces Zeenat’s character in my mind, now I can perceive that Gul is also as determined as Zeenat, I am sorry but thats how I perceive you as Zeenat, I’ll suggest you to do one more movie like Dor and ask the director to name the character as Gul, so that we may remember you as Gul and not Zeenat..BTW thanks for being Zeenat and Gul as both have motivated us, I appreciate your talent, keep it up..

  11. vikas

    Hi GUl,
    Nice to see u on the blog ! its been some time that you have responded to my sms’s. Hope things are good at ur end. I am waiting for ur new release soon. when is it and whats about ?
    URs is a neat and peaceful site to surf. Wish u had more of ur pics in here ( or I missed them somewhere !)

    Whats ur next holiday destination in India… I know u love exotic places and I tend to follwo u ! do drop me a mail sometimes


  12. Gul Panag

    Thank you Nisheel:-)

    Fitness regime is always changing. I am currently nursing a knee injury ( i still don’t know how that happened). So running is out for now.

    I try and do a brisk walk for an hour a day, followed by dips on the parallel bars in the park in my building and then push ups at home. A bit of abs and I am done for the day.

    Thank you for the complement Naina . I take that as a show of support:-)

    I am so hapy you liked Dor. AND you can be rest assured that there will only be good work coming up. I have 5-6 films coming up this year, do check out the “films” link and see the up coming releases in the website to know more about them.

    Hope to see you here more often.


  13. Faisal Khan

    After I saw “Dor” I looked up on the dvd cover who the elegent lady was. Then I picked up “Manorma” only because Gul Panag was in it. This time elegence was combined with an unarming smile, intimacy, and affection. You convinced me that marriage can be a bliss, and I should get into one.

    Your mom and dad must be very kind and loving too, that you have come up like this. I read in your artical that you use to run with your dad.

    Your blog reflects what I am saying. Everything here is inviting and friendly. It doesn’t seem like the blog of a miss india or a superstar.

    Who cares about your weight anyway. There is an aura of kindness around you, which can mingle souls. You are magic this side of heaven.

  14. Gul Panag

    Hi Faisal,
    Thank you. Thank you. I am so touched by your words. I am left speechless:-)

    My parents are wonderful people and I owe everything that I am to them and the upbringing they gave me and most importantly to my father’s career( he is still serving) in the army.

    Don’t know ,much about marriage except that it should be for keeps! Goo luck on that front.

    Do keep in touch. All the best.

  15. Amit K

    Hi Gul
    Good to finally find a ayn rand believer! I wonder how u reconcile our traditional indian belief system that wants us to focus so much more on the people next door then on who we are as individuals.

    Ur grace on the screen seems to complement ur real life persona. Saw manorma 6 ft under ysterday and really enjoyed it though wasnt sure about why u picked a role that didnt seem to rise beyond the obvious. Dor, on the other hand was brilliant!

  16. Payal Parija

    Hey Gul,
    Saw you in a gown at the Sardust awards and again in a similar one at the filmfare.. Who is the gown by?

  17. atul_279

    Hi Gul
    Yesterday i saw DOR. I felt the character of Zeenet is reflecting your own strength & qualities. So Zeenet is best to see in DOR. You look so simple but lovely & living the character. In my openion you were the best fit for it. I haven’t seen your other movies yet. I hope i shall find the same living characterness for your play.
    It can be easy to top once, but staying on top & doing best is more challanging. I wish you cope up with the challanges ahead.
    Never give up !!
    With Lovely Best Wishses,

  18. Abhinav

    Safe heaven…

    Tis technology at its best… can there be any better place to talk to someone you have always wished… I guess no…

    Gul, I highly appreciate that at least you have this very well designed website where we can interact with you .. and I see you often reply too…

    first thing first…. Dor.. Manorama… are classics.. I remember the a always remember a scene in Dor… where you reveal the truth in front of hindu parents.. in Rajasthan… and the mother spits on your face..
    The expressions on your face are classic…. keep it up!
    I love all you work… so far.. but Manorama and Dor are on the top coz they were shot in Rajasthan.. and I belong to that state.. you look awesome in the rajasthani backdrops….

    I would say.. and this is true…. if i yearn for any work in bollywood nowadays is either from Aamir.. or in actresses its You and Tabu..

    I wish I could take you on a date in rajasthan sometime.. .. and I know its just a wish… fingers crossed… dont worry I am married .. Both me and my wife are your fans… and she is jealous of you…

    Wishing you all the best!

  19. Gul Panag

    I think life is always about trying to find a balance. We some times veer towards the white and sometimes to the black, but what are we in entirety is what describes us.
    I personally enjoyed Nimmi in M6FU much more. The fact that it appeared so simple and “didn’t rise beyond” the obvious is a huge complement to me as an actor, because such parts are much harder to play with conviction than some character with extraorinary attributes like purpose and resolve.

    Hi payal, the gown I wore at stardust was by Mandira Wirk and the one at Filmfare was by Urvashi Kaur. Why gowns? Well simply beacuse i can:-) I am fit and in good shape. And its lovely to see the surprised look on people who expect somethign like my characters on screen.

    Thank you for the complement. Do watch Dhoop. Although it was my first film, I still think its my best work. And Manorma Six Feet Under too is a great film

    Rajasthan is by far the most beautiful location I’ve shot in. It is also some sort of a luck charm!

  20. Rohini Bhatt

    Dear Gul,

    Really appreciated your work in Dor & Manorama. your growth as an actor is visible. its good to see another defence kid doing well..

    would we expect u in more mainstream cinema like priyanka and lara… or would you be sticking to your niche?

    And whats your take on these rumors doing the rounds of you playing a second woman in a certain someones life? Trust they are bullshit – having read your take on integrity and honesty being instilled in u.

  21. Puneet

    Dear Gul,

    I stumbled upon your website this evening, and am fairly surprised at the effort put into it. I am also taken aback by wide variety of areas that interest you.

    The good part about this website is – that it lets one know about “Gul – the person” more than just “Gul – the actress”. You come across as someone full of life, and I became growingly fond of you while navigating through the pages.

    I am curious if you visit Chandigarh often. I was born there, and now live in New York. My wife and I would love to have you over for lunch (or dinner) if you are visiting NY or could possibly see you in Chandigarh if we happen to be around at the same time.



  22. Dr.Kumail

    Hello Gul.. THis is Dr.Kumail From Pakistan, I must admitt ur beauty with brains, i have seen all ur movies.The most i liked was Dor, Reason,… HAy gul dont tell any one i have seen ur commercial as well.. Hmm coming to ur acting in Dor.. and liking it the most….. OkAY…tHE Reason is that it has u in reasonable role…u have done very much justice with the role given to you..Oh i must say this also in other movies u have done exemplary well…but i Liked DOR the most.. Jurm was good enough.But ur role was bit shorter than miss dutta.. and then comes Ur Acting skills in ..UNder six feet, U once again proved ur worth of doing any role given to you…. i wish to see u working in banners likes Sanjay Leela Bansali, or ganesh kokonoor, Rajkumar santoshi,Mani Ratnam,Gulzar,PRiyadarshan or Ram gopal verma… I do totally agree with ur perception about looking healthy… U really look like natural beauty.. Hmmm..i Know my comments wont matter because every other day u recieve loads of compliments but still i must admitt You look gorgeous.. Hay have u done any thing to develop the dimple you have
    ??? or is it just as natural as you are!!

  23. PRASUN Kulshrestha

    @ faisal….

    yes dost i m also left speechless with what u wrote for gul,
    truely, every word was is simple n pure.
    god bless dost.

  24. kameshwar

    It is nice to read your comments about the fittness of the human being which is the most important thing Jaan hai to Jahaan hai, Health is wealth if you are healthy you can perform any job any time.

  25. RaGiNg BuLL...

    Hey gul…I was just going thru the various celebrity blogs…it was nice to find yours…I just had an urge to post a comment on this particular topic of u being “anorexic”…give me a break i have’nt seen all your movies…but i know how to appreciate beauty…you got a great figure that is perfectly chiseled and you are amazingly beautiful…rather i would understand that you require to put in a great amount of hardwork to actually look the same…i specially like your dimples…and the glow is still glowing…hahaaha
    and ya it’s not just a personal view but its quite true generally…
    hey that puts me into doubt…did u put this topic up so that people could praise you???

  26. andromache

    This is such a healthy attitude. I love seeing an actress talking about the importance of fitness, rather than obsessive dieting!

  27. Sumit

    Hey Gul ..Had watched al your movies..Your work in every movie is really magnificient..You look da BEST in da whole bollywood..Keep up the GOOD WORK.. tc .. 🙂

  28. karna

    hey gul, i saw dor yesterday (beautiful film, thoroughly enjoyed all aspects, especially your relationship with shreyas!-funny when he was drunk) then googled the pretty girl after the credits rolled. you’re really fly. loved the scene when u were running for the phone-

    karna (usa)

  29. Gul Panag

    Thank you Karna:-)

  30. Amit Khemka

    What a wonderful rejoinder to my post! You make all of us Chandigarians (sic?) proud. Thank you for that observation about Nimmi … Makes a lot of sense once you chew on it for a while.. Do you think that the quality of Indian cinema is reflective of the intellectual strength of the individuals that are part of it?


  31. Gul Panag

    Thank you.
    I think the quality of all art is reflective of the intellectual strength of the individuals that are part of it. It wouldn’t be extraordinary if it weren’t and it certainly wouldn’t be art then if it were ordinary. Now chew on that and tell me.

  32. Mona

    Hi Gul,
    Your blog really cheered me up, i am struggling with my weight. Well, i wouldn’t say struggling, my body size is okay, i just wanted to tone up and be a bit more slimer, but after reading your blog, i feel awesome that i just need to be fit, and there is someone out there who is not so crazy about the size zero! Seeing celebs on tv, sporting the leen and slim look, it sort of puts down the normal person, because we do not have the time that they do to work out to the max to get the results they do, not to forget they have trainers and dieticians. But your post was realistic and coming from a celebrity means a lot. I am looking forward to hello coming out this weekend 🙂 Also, i would encourage you to write a bit more about being healthy in a magazine or a column, the young girls can so relate to it. Goodluck for your upcoming releases.


  33. vikas

    Hi Gul
    Very inspiring thots that you pour here and this place feels very quiet and sobre ( unlike many other blogs, which lack intelect )

    Keep up the good work and U ROCK !!!!!!

  34. Bhagyashree

    wow…tht ws a gr8 blogpost.. 🙂
    Gals think too much bout getting tht ‘thin’ figure…but its all the way more important to have strength n vitality..the spark of Life 🙂
    dere are very few actresses who wud also want to have strength n vitality as the biggest priority while deciding their diet or exercise..plz do consider havin a portion of this site dedicated over the same.. 🙂
    wud be a gr8 inspiration n source of info for all ur fans… 🙂

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