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Hi, I am Akshita Banger, a 21-year-old student living in Gurgaon. I was a very active kid up till the seventh grade. I was a state-level athlete and I used to participate in a variety of races. I used to love sports and running. When I turned 13, I diversified my canvas of extracurriculars and decided to dive into archery. However, the thing about archery is that it requires you to stay at a single place for large periods.
I was 54 kilos when I started archery at the end of seventh grade and I gained 24 kgs, just a few months into entering eight grade. When I weighed myself in 2012 November, the weighing scale tipped to 79 kilos.
During my high school years, I became lethargic. Having quit archery, I began to spend my time binge-watching shows and soon turned into a couch potato. All my family members used to pass comments on my body. They used to tell me that I was doing nothing other than sitting around and eating. Even though hearing all this was a mental torture, I was pretty oblivious to these changes in my body.
A fatty liver encouraged me to shed my fat
Fast-forwarding to the year 2017, I remember weighing myself two days after my exams had finished. I weighed a whopping 94 kilos.
A few days later, I suffered from excruciating stomach pain. The pain was so intense that I had to rush to the hospital and was asked to get a full-body test done. When the test results came in, my father—who happens to be a doctor— informed us that I have a cholesterol and fatty liver problem. I was 18-years-old and the weight of these diseases crushed me entirely.
Through those tests, I found out that in the last four years, I had developed complications and diseases due to obesity. It was a moment of awakening for me, and I realized that I had no option but to leave all my unhealthy habits behind.
A shock jolted me out of my unhealthy lifestyle
My father prescribed a bottle of Liv52 for my fatty liver and suggested a portion-controlled and fat-free diet.
My mother helped me chart out a special diet after my tests got done. Before the reports, butter was a staple item in every meal. Afterwards, she cut out all the fats from my diet and started serving me rotis and leafy vegetables, twice a day.
I also started exercising and devoted all my free time to cycling and walking.
Lessons are hidden within setbacks
After the harrowing episode, I managed to lose about 10 kilos—all because of a strict diet and workouts. My only goal was to lose weight before I started college and I did achieve my goal. However, destiny had other plans for me.
I was 84 kilos when I entered college. I continued my workout regime of cycling but I ended up gaining three kilos somehow. In the summer of 2018, I started working out more than usual and intensified my workouts. By the end of summer, I had lost 10 kilos again. At 74 kilos kgs, I was exhilarated with myself and my hard work.
But 2019 was a challenging year for me. I didn’t lose any weight even though my diet and exercise were perfectly in place. I instead, gained four kilos and I began to feel like a failure. The only thing I didn’t do was give up on my goal of making fitness my lifestyle.
The year 2020 feels like a success because when the lockdown was announced I decided to work on myself. I lost 12 kilos in two months and I am at my ideal weight now. I was even selected for a Roadies audition because of my fitness journey.
This is what my current routine looks like
To anybody who is on a fitness journey, I would recommend a combination of diet and exercise that personally works for you. I drink green coffee first thing in the morning, followed by fruit (mostly apple). I eat two chapatis with vegetables for lunch. In between meals I drink a freshly-squeezed fruit juice. I drink milk thrice a day and I consume protein powder before I workout. My ideal go-to pre-workout snack is mostly a block of dark chocolate. I workout for two to four hours every day of the week.
I abide by home-cooked meals and try to avoid store-bought food as much as I can. My diet is rich with nutrients, such as carbs, healthy fats, proteins and fibre. Additionally, for strength, there is no substitute for milk. I drink green tea twice a day and also giloy water.
My biggest lesson? Have faith in your journey
To anybody reading this, please know that results don’t show up in one day. They require constant work and determination. The improved version of you will show up one day, but you have to work hard from today to make that happen. Consistent effort and not giving up is the way to success.