Anam Tanveer is one of the prominent faces in media today, having been a part of the industry since her acting debut in Mere Dar Ko Jo Zuban Mile in 2012. The actor and influencer has risen up the ladder, securing roles in Mera Dil Mera Dushman, Raaz-e-Ulfat, Do Bol and Jalebi. Anam’s convincing performances and dedication to her passion of acting have uplifted her career, making her mark in the industry.
However, the artist has proven to be a diverse and motivational figure, having advocated for animal rights when Ranoo the brown bear was malnourished in Karachi Zoo. The Noor-e-Zindagi star also uses her influential platform to discuss significant topics such as Breast Cancer Awareness, censorship, womens’ rights and social issues. Anam has unknowingly also helped many fans by sharing her own experience with fitness, weight-loss and the hard work behind it.
We asked Anam about her own journey in the field and fitness world, and how this has impacted her own view.
What made you getting into fitness? Was it a career choice?
I was always a sporty girl, who loved outdoor sports since my childhood. What people don’t understand here is that fitness has a lot to do with not only looking good but also the mindset it entails. What you are eating is not the only thing which is important but also what you are thinking about yourself and how you view your life. In a previous Instagram post, I mentioned body-shaming in our industry. Yes, I was once bullied and body-shamed when I gained some weight, during my studies when I drastically put on weight people’s behaviour towards me changed. At that point I took it as a challenge and proved I have control over my body and I can look good and feel better after losing abit of weight and also gaining a little weight back when I needed to.
Having said that, I also mentioned in that post, fitness is about being healthy no matter if you weigh a few extra ponds that’s alright as long as you are comfortable in your own skin. Don’t worry about love-handles or curves, they are part of beauty, because I have seen new actresses and models ruining themselves getting influenced by social media ideals and unrealistic celebrity ‘role-models’ who probably live their life just to post the best version of their life online, and they are being hired to promote the brands they are wearing or consuming. Don’t let social media dictate your life, it’s not real!
What’s your favourite role to date and why?
Gul-e-Ara from Noor-e-Zingagi and Shaheena from Mera Dil Mera Dushman. Gul-e-Ara was the daughter of a prostitute back when people used to send their children to them for learning etiquettes, manners , general teachings and ethics. The character itself was very colourful as there was romance, wit, sadness and joyfulness all combined in one character. Plus, I believe the wardrobe did wonders to enhance the character, and it gave exactly that antique aesthetic worn by women during that time in such an environment. To mention a few were the jhumkas and churidar pajamas. One of my favourite parts was when I had my romantic scenes with Jibran. 7th Sky’s Mr. Siraj ul Haq has always been a treat to work with!
Needless to mention, Shaheena is another favourite because I worked extremely hard, going above my potential to build and recreate the scenes and to perform them greater than everybody’s expectations. I’m glad that Six Sigma and ARY Digital chose me to play this character and I hope I was able to fulfill their expectations. I remember I used to ask associates to send me my scenes a day before the shoot so I could put in the extra time and work on my scenes. I enjoyed this character because I believe to an extent that such characters are present in our lives and my observation in real life helped me a lot to perform the role with conviction. Therefore, observation and imagination are very important for an artist as it helps to do wonders. Though I couldn’t play with the wardrobe of Shaheena as she wasn’t coming from a relatively affluent background so I decided to keep it minimalistic with simple makeup and at times with no make up at all just to give the character a natural look. Unlike Gul-e-Rana, I focused more on playing with the dialogues as this character.
How do you keep yourself motivated in this tough field ?
I personally think all the career paths in life are tough one way or another, so mentioning just one or to talk about my field specifically won’t do justice. We need to understand that there are certain things within our control and certain things beyond our control. If we fight this back and think that everything is in our hands, it will only lead to frustration and disappointment. The key to tackle this is to have the element of ‘Positive Hope’ all the time and never to lose this hope.
I gain my motivation from workouts, athletic activities, dancing, walking & jogging, motivating people to thrive and by reading about people bouncing back from their hard times. I don’t spend too much time going back and forth over making decisions, instead I make quick decisions as too much overthinking can drain out your motivation and positive vibes. I spend time with positive people who have similar goals to boost my morale and I cherish time with my friends, they are a source of therapy to re-energize my soul.
I have set rules in my life and promised myself to abide by them, it keeps my life on track and helps to set the right boundaries. I am not afraid to make mistakes and errors, I never get discouraged, in fact I see them as opportunities to learn and excel from them. As Paulo Coelho said “Life was tough with me, but I was tougher because I didn’t surrender”.
What advice would you like to give to your fans about your own fitness journey?
In terms of fitness, the first piece of advice that I want to give my fans is, ‘don’t follow people blindly because not every fitness or diet plan will work for you’. It’s the eating habits behind every fit or even unfit body. Overeating could harm your progress while eating the same things in the right portions will benefit you or at least won’t do you any harm. That's why my advice is always to eat but eat healthy! Keep a balanced diet, you shouldn’t quit completely on anything, nothing should be avoided but you should set your boundaries, for instance, a bite of a cake won’t hurt but a large piece can.
Another important factor is the workout. Make working out a priority. Avoid rest days and prioritise breaks and remember to take it easy, fitness doesn’t mean to torture your body. The right blend of nutrients, carbs and healthy fats will do wonders for your health, while a balanced mixture of cardio and weight-training will do wonders for your body.