True story: How I lost over 50 pounds and regained my confidence….
I was always a chubby girl. Though lean in the early years, after I hit my teens and started spending long hours poring over books, I began gaining inches around my waistline. Because of my short stature of 5’1’’, I looked short and stout. But I wasn’t perturbed as the weighing machine would tell me I was still in the healthy range.
Once I started working as a sub-editor that needed long hours of sitting plus erratic sleeping hours, it was ‘healthy range’ no more. There were days when all of a sudden I would find my clothes tight. But instead of waking up, I simply opted to wear baggy clothes, kurtas, sarees etc.
I hit rock bottom during my pregnancy, when I weighed nearly 160 pounds (72 kg). But, nearly one and a half years later, today I have shed over 50 pounds (23 kg) and weigh 49 kg, i.e., I have shed my pregnancy weight and more during this period.
Post-delivery, I had back aches, which got worsened by my continuous sitting in front of the computer for work. The birth of my son motivated me to get healthy and fit. The road to weight loss isn’t easy and there are many hits and misses. But once I decided to lose, the game plan fell in place.
Step 1: Joined a weight loss group
Although I had been losing weight after my delivery, I decided to actively try to lose weight once my son started having three-time solids, which was when he was eight-nine months old. Luckily, around the same time, I got to know of a Facebook group. The group helped me chart out a strategy, portion control and gave me an idea about workout videos and trainers. Most importantly, the before-after stories and photos women shared in the group gave me the confidence that it is possible.
Step 2: Bought walking shoes, dumbbells etc
I wasn’t keen on this, as I thought I won’t be able to continue the routine for long, but my husband insisted. He has been the driving force behind my success – waking me up early, being my workout buddy, holding the baby if he wakes up so that I can finish my workout without break, the list is long. And honestly, his support motivated me to work out in a dedicated manner. I walk at home as cardio exercise and do weight training using dumbbells for upper body toning.
Step 3: Made changes in eating habits
Here I had limited options as I still breastfeed my baby. Yet, I increased my water intake and started having an early dinner. Sprouts, salads, soups became my regular fare and rice intake was cut short. I still have rice, and on some days even keema biryani, fried rice with thick gravies. But that is occasional, might be twice in a month. I have introduced ragi in my diet. Now I am more aware, and if I overindulge, I workout for the same the next day. My fat intake is more from dry fruits rather that oil. I have ghee, curd, fruits daily. I feel now I am eating more that earlier.
Step 4: Mentally prepared myself for others’ reactions
When someone loses weight, people notice. It is a puzzle I am yet to solve – when you are fat, people say ‘Oh, you need to lose’, and when you start your weight-loss journey, they say ‘Why are you losing, you looked better earlier’. And there are queries like ‘are you starving?’ Such queries tend to confuse the mind. However, my husband told me to give a deaf ear to other’s remarks and just hear what my heart says. And that is what I ‘try’ to do now. To be honest, such remarks do affect me, but after that when I look at myself and realise the fact that my body is fitter and healthier than ever before, I know that I am on the right track.