[100 Emerging Women Leaders] How Prathima Koppolu is motivating women to lead a healthy and holistic lifestyle
Prathima Koppolu was barely 16 when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Baffled by the hit and trial of heavy medications, Prathima realised that the only way to treat the condition was to not be dependent on steroids. The condition needed more than medications.
“No one had any theory around my condition. The only advice from one of the doctors was to be cognisant of the lifestyle and leave no pressure on the joints. I was too young to take steroids,” says Prathima.
Amidst this, she also suffered from irregular periods, which was termed by many experts as a “normal phenomenon” for a young girl.
Prathima then decided to explore physical fitness to turn things around.
Prathima recalls that back in 2001, fitness was generally understood as walking and running to lose weight. However, what was more concerning was that even in 2015, she realised that this association of fitness with weight loss persisted, despite the rise in fitness centres.
What started as an experiment became the foundation forin 2017. The Hyderabad-based venture, founded by Prathima and her husband Avinash Rajapet, a certified trainer, started off as a fitness app for kids and teens, and later evolved into a platform for women’s health and nutrition.
The app provides a wide range of solutions like fitness tips, nutrition plans, easy workout regimes (without equipment), and other activities to help young women who suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease), hypothyroidism and other hormonal imbalances, and obesity, and guide them to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle.
Today, Fitb.ee has grown into a large community of women dealing with several health-related issues, especially hormonal, and focuses on getting young mothers back to fitness.
“The aim is to motivate women to lead a healthy and holistic lifestyle consisting of regular exercising and mindful nutrition,” says Prathima, who takes pride in the fact that the conversation around women's health issues is becoming more prevalent and open.
“In India, there are 7.5 million women dealing with PCOD alone. We are making sure of having at least 25 percent of that number benefit from our platform and community,” she adds.
Fitb.ee Hive, an inclusive online community of more than 1,200 women, was created in 2021 to help women voice their concerns and also feel heard, all in a safe and engaging space.
A big advocate of mental health, Prathima advises women entrepreneurs to seek help and find solutions calmly when they hit roadblocks.
“I have never allowed other people’s opinions to bother my decisions. Women need to shred the baggage of trying to convince other people about their decisions. Own up to your decisions, make mistakes, and continue to go after what you want,” she concludes.
Edited by Megha Reddy