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This weight loss journey took enormous patience – and love; here’s a personal account of achieving this goal without punishing oneself.
After people got to know that I lost 28 kgs, I have been asked by several women how I achieved this. Weight loss like any other task we take on requires resilience, the belief that we will be able to achieve our goal, discipline, and immense patience.
I am 5 ft 6” tall and in 2012 I weighed some 89 kgs. Except for my junior school years, I had always been obese/fat. I had tried to lose weight several times and was successful a couple of times but quick to put it all back on.
I come from a family of foodies and had convinced myself that I was a hardcore foodie. In 2012 I was able to lose weight and keep it off because I changed my thinking first – I accepted that I was a foodie who loved herself a whole lot and so I started choosing my food carefully; no fancy stuff, just making the right decisions in picking what I wanted to eat and eating it slowly, savouring it even if it was one almond, eating what took my fancy but in small portions.
Editor’s Note: This is one woman’s personal account of her weight loss journey; it is not meant as medical advice or to be prescriptive for anyone else.
In 2012 October I had the worst nightmare; I dreamt that I was sick and that the medical staff couldn’t take care of me because I had so much fat. This was the culmination of years of guilt for not taking care of myself. I actually visualised myself lying on a narrow bed in a white sterile room, my rolls of fat spilling over the sides, and me all alone, left to a slow, painful, natural death.
When I woke the next morning, I determined that this nightmare wasn’t going to turn into a reality.
It was a Saturday, I went and found a yoga class close to home, immediately took a trial session and joined it. Next, I went to a dietician and told her I had a huge appetite but wanted to lose weight. She gave me a wonderful diet. In a month I had graduated to two yoga sessions in a day and lost 5 kgs, beginners’ luck. I was walking 6 – 8 km a day.
By month 2-3, I had graduated to doing one km in 9 minutes from 12, I had also started walking 20 minutes after every meal. I have always loved music and dance, so I joined a weekend dance class and made new friends of all ages which was fabulous as it gave me a support group, while enabling me to continue with what I loved.
Months 1- 6
The dietary habits now included two toasts with cucumber-tomato made into a sandwich or Dalia with half a glass of cold coffee since that is the only thing I couldn’t leave. Mid-morning was 1-2 fruits, not chopped – just peel and eat or bite and chew. Lunch was a big bowl of salad – sprouts, just lots of cucumber, carrot, radish, and even a boiled potato or boiled dal and a big bowl of vegetables. The evening was a sandwich or Monaco/Marie biscuits (4 in no)/ boiled egg or more fruits. Dinner was thin khichdi/dal chawal/ pani puri too at times, poha, upma but all by 7.30 pm max. Since the time between dinner and bedtime was three hours I would take a cup of hot milk before sleeping.
By month 5 my weight loss had slowed to 3 kgs a month. I had to do something new to recharge and shock my hypothyroid affected metabolism, so I joined a gym. For 3-4 days a week, after the yoga session, I would hit the gym to make myself stronger. I started the evening walks too. Besides that, I would park my car a little further away from the destination, walk to the market and for all errands, try and use what my dad calls the 11 no bus.
I also underwent a detox through my dietician. I could breathe easier than I had ever before, I felt light and healthy and the pigmentation on my face started disappearing. I started getting compliments that I looked healthy, energetic and lively and my face glowed with youth. Please note I was also meditating every single day!
I had by now come down from a size 20 to 16.
It was March 2013 and I had in all these months eaten only 1 tsp of sugar in a day, eaten all of one cup of cooked rice and no maida in the 6 months. I would only get whole wheat bread from a baker especially made without sugar and oil and eat that. I learned to refine my taste buds. My ability to enjoy healthy food was at its peak, due to the reduced intake of the two white poisons namely sugar and salt. My BP which had been high for 10 years, since I was in my mid-thirties, normalised, and water retention disappeared from my body.
My PCOD got under control. For the first time in my life I lost a major chunk of the belly fat I had lugged around like my baby all my life.
I have always enjoyed an active social life. I learned ways and means of continuing that, to enjoy and nurse one whiskey/vodka with water or lime through the evening, order full plates of vegetables, steamed fish, and clear soups for myself. I would still consume until I was 85% full but focus on things that my stomach could digest easily.
Once I got down to 62 kgs and a size 10, which took 10 months to reach, all I had to do was maintain it.
Please remember there is no magic wand or mantra. A positive thought process, a determined approach, not letting the weather or anything else deter you from regular workouts, keeping to a routine and starting your day early with a happy inner being and countenance and immense patience will ensure you get where you want to.
Make sure you have a circle of friends who share your fitness goals, workout with you, encourage you, pull you out on your lazy days, do simpler workouts when too sore, anything as long as they do not allow you to stop – that is critical.
Lastly, while you are on this journey, please accept and love yourself, every bit of you, that little roll of fat, those imperfect eyes, those too fat arms totally and completely.
Loving yourself and appreciating encouraging even the smallest victories is half the battle won!
Top image via Canva used for representational purposes, and others are the author’s own
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Sanjana is an independent consultant for the social sector and CSR space. Her specialization and
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