Being a Single Mom Keeps Me Motivated to Exercise


Mindy Kaling
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Change her perspective. For Mindy KalingRaising Spencer, her 21-month-old son, and Katherine, her daughter, has completely changed her outlook on exercise and healthy habits.

“Working out means I can avoid things like diabetes, hypertension, and other things I am at high risk for,” the Mindy ProjectAlum, 42, told ByrdieIn an interview published Tuesday, June 7. “Now that I have kids, it isn’t just about looking hot because I’m an actress. I need to live a long time because I’m a single mom.”

Kaling’s own mother, Dr. Swati Chokalingam, died in January 2012. The physician was battling pancreatic carcinoma. Katherine Swati, a native of Massachusetts, was named in honor of her mother.

The Never Have I EverCreator explained that her outlook on exercising has changed dramatically since becoming healthier. She also understands that not everyone at the gym is trying too hard to be a model.

“Now I’m like, ‘OK, there’s different levels of fitness.’ It’s not something profound, but it was something that I needed to learn,” she admitted. “I honestly used to be embarrassed to say, ‘Yeah, I work out four or five times a week,’ because I didn’t look the way some people thought I should.”

Over the years, Why not me? author has been vocal about her journey to accepting her body, but it isn’t easy to challenge the norms in Hollywood. In August 2021 the Emmy-nominated star remembered her days as a costar for the set of The Office suggested their character Kaling’s Kelly Kapoor could lose 15 pounds.

“This is my greatest insecurity and someone just called it out,” the actress, who wrote and starred on the NBC series, explained on Good Morning AmericaAt the time.

The actress and writer said that the incident made her think about how others saw her body and how it affected her position in the industry. “On TV, if you were really thin, then you could be the lead. Otherwise, you had to be, like, 250 pounds, and you had to be the slapstick comic relief,” she said while reflecting on the beginning of her career. “But what was crazy, what was left out, is just, like, this range of people which is a majority of American women over the age of 24. What if you’re, like, a [size] 12 and you want to just live your life and look cute and date?”

Kaling used to be awkward about exercising because of all the judgment she had. She now feels the benefits, telling Byrdie that exercise allows her to feel “centered and focused.”

“I don’t look like a personal trainer. But I work out four or five times a week, and it’s like my replacement for therapy,” the College Girls and their Sexual LivesCreator explained. “I find it completely joyous.”

Kaling added, “The point is that I feel so much better mentally if I’m in better cardiovascular health. I think a lot of it was helped by the fact that I had kids.”

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