Childbirth and personal loss led to my weight gain. Here’s how I lost 15 kilos and got my life on track

Savita lost her husband to cancer and delivered a baby via C-section, after which she began to gain weight. She found solace and inspiration in her daughter who encouraged her to exercise and become fitter. This is her story.
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“My mental health gained immensely from my commitment to being fitter,” says Savita.
Reader Submission Published: 20 Oct 2020, 19:26 pm IST
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I was always on the healthier side. Before my marriage, I used to weigh 60 kilograms. However, the main spurt in my weight came about after the birth of my daughter. It was a C-section delivery and this added to my tendency to gain weight. 

After a few years, due to unfortunate circumstances, I lost my husband. In the wake of the loss, I was diagnosed with depression, and my inactivity during the time further caused me to gain weight. I had gained about 25 kilos of weight and now stood at 85 kilos. 

Weight gain and health losses

Due to my weight, I used to face a lot of difficulty in walking for a long period of time. I experienced shortness of breath, especially while climbing stairs. Lifting heavy things became nearly impossible. I would get tired easily and feel fatigued. 

My doctors did tell me that weight gain was the root cause of several health problems and recommended that I must become fitter to avoid any serious medical issues. That became the turning point in my life.

The mental fatigue and social stigma

Yes, the weight was impacting my health and my social life. I feel that confidence and self-image is very closely linked to weight. Earlier, I used to feel uncomfortable while wearing certain types of clothes because I felt that they did not suit my body type. This also negatively affected my self-esteem. I also felt that this low self-esteem was affecting my professional life. 

As for my mental health, my depression and the subsequent weight gain took a toll on me.

It was for my daughter and my sanity that I knew I had to become fitter, healthier and thinner.

A turning point in my life: Learning to prioritize my body 

Once I decided to lose weight, there was no looking back. Going regularly to the gym and exercising became my health mantras. First of all, I made changes to my schedule. 

I started waking up at 4:30 am in the morning, and tried to finish all my household chores by 5:30 am, so that I could go to the gym. I trained at the gym for two hours, and then rushed back home to get my daughter to her school on time. 

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Post that, I used to leave for work. At night after dinner, I went out for an evening walk. To ensure that I wake up on time and that my body gets adequate rest, I used to try and sleep by 10:30 pm.

In pursuit of following my fixed schedule, I didn’t even have time to watch the television. TV Serials may come and go, but we only have one body to take care of. 

Often times, mothers make excuses for not being able to take care of themselves. They state paucity of time and the multitude of chores to be the reason for their negligence. But I really feel that these are all just excuses and if there is a will, there is always a way. If we consciously do not take out time for taking care of ourselves and keeping our body fit and healthy; no one else can do it for us. We must fix up our routine in such a way that we have time to pay due attention to our bodies.

Dietary changes and health improvements

To be honest, I did not make any major changes to my diet. But I did try to incorporate smaller changes, such as eating healthier food and eating less frequently. I avoided oily and greasy food as much as I could. I do feel that in certain social situations, you cannot really avoid eating, like while attending a marriage or a party; if you abstain from eating, the hosts feel disheartened. 

So, I tried to cut down on the quantity, and ate in the right amounts.

My weight came down to 70 kilograms, in nearly nine months. I lost two to three kilograms every month. Although I could not make it to my original weight of 60 kilograms, I still managed to lose nearly 15 kilograms, and feel much fitter.

Physical and mental gains

I believe that every person should either go to the gym or must engage in some form of physical activity regularly. My workout regime ensured that I became much healthier. I no longer experienced shortness of breath or difficulty in walking. 

My mental health gained immensely from my commitment to being fitter. I regained my self-confidence. My self-esteem got an enormous boost and I became a happier person. In fact, if I missed out on going to the gym, even for a day, I felt anxious. The evening walks made me feel rejuvenated after a long day and all this had a tremendous positive effect on my mental health.

Finding a support system that supports and encourages your journey

My friends and family were my support system during this journey. My little nine-year old daughter is my coach. If I make excuses to not go to the gym or to give my workout a skip, she would motivate me and push me to go out. If I would ever falter, she would be the one on the sidelines, encouraging me to do better. Her presence and constant affirmations have gone a long way in paving the path for my journey.

Lessons learnt

My journey has taught me that ‘nothing is impossible.’ If we stop making excuses and start making commitments, we have the power to transform ourselves. At the onset of my regime, I used to feel extremely tired and wanted to give up, because I was looking for instant results. However, with time, I understood that Rome was not built in a day. As we had not gained the weight instantaneously, we cannot lose it immediately. These processes take time, and we must be patient with our body. 

Lastly, I would like to say that if we commit to being a better, fitter version of ourselves, nothing can stop us.

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