It’s been exactly one year since I started my journey to a healthy and fit life and so it’s extremely special for me to be sharing this. In true sense it was a journey to self discovery. I was always athletic and tall, and I have always weighed on the higher side even as a child. Maybe that’s why for the most part of it I didn’t see myself being overweight, and then later didn’t recognize the problem of obesity.
This is how it all started…
Since childhood I was always afraid to get on a weighing machine. It was a horror to be standing in the school clinic for monthly height and weight check-ups. But the year 2019 was a year of acceptance and deliverance. It was a year of coming out of denial and facing the truth- that I wasn’t “big boned” or “large framed”–but that I was fat. And once it started affecting my confidence I knew I had to do something about it.
I feel there are a lot of misconceptions about fitness and due to lack of knowledge, we try certain things without proper understanding and upon failing we just give up. I too tried a lot of things in the last few years. I joined a gym, did jogging (even though I hated running), and took workout sessions at home. But nothing worked, because I wasn’t doing it in the correct combination by including both healthy diet and proper exercise into my lifestyle. Both are interdependent and inseparable.
In 2018 – 19, I was at my lowest. I was not happy and I would get constant headaches, fatigue, and mood swings. The biggest low for me was when I felt like I was losing my confidence and I decided finally that I had to do something about it. I purchased a membership to a good gym in Delhi; got diet sessions and personal training sessions from experts; and understood for the first time what it takes to lead a healthy life.
The journey has not been easy…
It took the right kind of guidance from fitness experts and motivation from family and close friends I kept moving on. The first month felt difficult–the change in diet and rigorous exercising was not easy, but what kept me moving was this feeling that this time “I won’t give up!”
So I decided that there would be no cheating or backing out. Whenever I travelled, I made sure to carry my training shoes so that I could hit the hotel gym. I came to a point where I didn’t like missing my workouts and now one hour of exercising has become an important part of my day.
Losing all that weight felt good!
I lost 17 kilos in eight months last year and I’ve realised that I am no longer afraid of weighing machines. The most memorable time for me during this journey was when I lost the first five kilos within just two weeks. I cannot express how happy I was–perhaps the fact that I still remember that day can convey the feeling.
Reaching the first target and not giving into laxity is extremely crucial. Most of the time we end up being careless after losing the first few kilos. I realized that cheating can be addictive and it is never “just this time” or “just one cheat day”. It becomes repetitive and it adds to that impulse of taking things for granted. And before you realize, you are back where you started. So I did feel proud about reaching my targets from time to time–but this time I stayed true to my journey and didn’t give into the temptations.
This is what my lifestyle looks like now…
My workout includes group classes, especially dance–which I love the most–yoga, and RPM Spinning. I focus on muscle training as well. With a healthy diet, the first few weeks were difficult because more than my body I think my mind was struggling with the change. I would constantly get food cravings, but I opted for healthier and home-made food options as substitutes for junk food. My evening fried snack with chai got replaced with makhanas, paranthas with besan cheela, white sugar with jaggery and dates, and aerated beverages with lemon water and coconut water.
It doesn’t take much time for the body and mind to adapt to healthy lifestyle changes, if you couple it with dedication and will. I have finally learnt that fitness is not a journey that has any end to it–it evolves and you make new targets in accordance with changing needs of your body and mind. Even maintaining your achievements is in itself a challenge, so one has to keep up the motivation to be better each day.
Mental health is as important as physical health and they work together to build a healthier future. Respecting the body and mind is a continuous journey and I’m enjoying every bit of it.