No it’s not the next millennium scare like the y2k, nor am I referring to the year 54k when most us will not be around, not me in any case, I’m sure of that, yes certainly too! No dear reader, it’s more near home and is an issue closest to our hearts I dare say! Yes, it’s all about weight watch! And I am about to describe to you my arduous journey to my ideal 54k grams.
When I was a very young child, my mother always thought me too thin, as all mothers are wont to, and I was always encouraged to eat to my heart’s content. So it was that as a young adult I had developed a typical ‘khaaté peeté ghar’ ka respectable ‘live to eat with a passion’ syndrome, hovering between 60 and 62k on the scales.
Marriage followed and inevitably conception which was my excuse to hog and not feel any the worse for it; and boy (or girl, if you like it that way better) did I eat? It was like I was participating in a never ending eating marathon. Before I knew, I was grossing a whopping 86k out of which my baby’s contribution? A mere 3.1k, the rest of it was all of me of course.
The horrendous thing is that through all of this I developed a loathing for outings, parties, people, clothes, and above all for myself; more so as I did not want to do anything about it. Life was not life anymore; it was just dragging an existence somehow. Each time I looked into the mirror it was like seeing another person. The only exercise I did was fantasising about liposuction and tummy tucks. Food of course was too comforting to be given up even a wee bit.
The stares and depression got to me in the end and I decided it was time to do something about my awesome girth. Being at my parents’ place gave me time to finally pay attention to my state and take control of matters. I now swing between 54 and 56k and didn’t diet or starve myself secretly nor did my fantasy of plastic surgery come true; I changed myself and my way of life.
The first important step was to motivate myself by visualising where I could be in terms of health, figure and mental attitude and the second was to meticulously adhere to the following:
1. Eat right: a) Never skip meals, eat small quantities of whatever one wants. My way is to eat a lot of vegetables and pulses and salads thus never feeling hungry or unsatisfied. b) Cut down on the fat, sweets and desserts in your diet. c) Binge out, if you must only on Sundays or parties and make up for it the next day. d) Do not partake of snacks between meals.
2. Exercise: Increasing your activity levels is the key. If you hate gyms hit the road. Take it a little slow at first and increase the amount of activity each time little by little. Build up your stamina first, to avoid a burn out. In my case I started with basketball on my own where I would run and basket the ball from one side to the other and then walk 1-2 km. I gradually increased it to jogging interspersed with walking.
3. One very important thing is to find something that you would really enjoy - walking, cycling, swimming, badminton, basketball, anything that doesn’t bore you. Build it into your routine and make it a way of life.
4. Eat an early dinner: Make a habit of eating before 1930 hrs every day so that you don’t go to bed on a full stomach.
5. Be patient and persevere: Do not expect results too quickly. It will take almost a month to notice any changes. It took me one and a half years to come down to 54k.
6. Make small and easier changes at first: Take baby steps instead of aiming at sudden and dramatic changes which could make you go back to your old habits in frustration.
7. Set realistic goals which are achievable and gradual. For example, do not suddenly cut down on eating between meals; however instead of eating “khatta-Meetha”, have an apple or yoghurt.
8. Celebrate your goals: Each time you achieve a set goal, reward yourself; ahem! not by eating! But by something like buying new clothes or a movie outing which would in turn inspire you to stick to your plans.
The journey to 54k was one of my greatest achievements, sharing honours with my marriage, my son’s birth and the publishing of my book. It had its moments though; the most important was when I could fit into my old jeans. Through all of this I had the unflinching support of my husband who at the end of it all had only this to say “I am one of the few lucky guys who has had the privilege to be married to three women (each weighing 60k, 86k and 54k) all looking different and sensational”.
Walking on this road has not been about losing weight but about gaining confidence, will power, the knowledge that nothing is impossible and becoming a better individual. The journey to 54k helped me lose a lot of physical and mental baggage too.