Monday, November 8, 2010

How I lost 20 plus kilos in a year, the healthy and fun way! Part One

Around two years ago, an old friend commented on my Orkut photos, her comment being that my college and school photos, as compared to my recent photos could be used for the before and after photos at Weight loss programs, with a slight twist. My college photos would be the after, my recent would be the before. If this sounds confusing, let me clarify.

I was 60 kilos in college. In 2008, I weighed an all time high of 92. A drastic increase of 32 kilos. Heck, I am not even 32 years old! How did that happen? I’ll list a few factors.

·        My mother died in 2002. My way of coping was to binge eat. I used to have four odd square meals a day. The meals consisted mostly of Rice, Red Meat, Pork, Colas, Drinks and some more Rice.
·        Although, I was a pretty fit six pack college student, my intense physical activity was halved and later on eliminated from my lifestyle. That meant no football, swimming, cricket, badminton, nothing.
·        I was operated for appendicitis; the operation went bad. I had to be re-operated. Not only was it a very painful experience, I had to take very strong antibiotic injections which were fuel for my ballooning weight. And yes, given the fact that I had a near hole on my abdomen for close to two years led to inactivity and severely weakened muscles.

I had become fat, irritable, unhealthy and unmotivated. I was told by doctors that my dual abdomen operations had made it a weak spot, and I shouldn’t exercise, play football, or even lift a bucket. My parents had diabetes, which was also a concern. I once took a sugar test and the results were alarming. I was sick of it all. I was chided and made fun of by friends and family. I saw relatives, old class mates and teachers failing to recognize me at social occasions. In short, my life was one big, fat mess.

One fine day, I decided. I just decided. I was not going to let my obesity come in the way of living life to the fullest. Enough was enough. Contrary to medical advice, I enrolled in a gym, started playing beach football, and started swimming. I also researched about losing weight healthily, started dieting sensibly, and started thinking positively. It took a lot of pain, and a lot of sweat, a lot of determination, discipline and will, but I did it. I started doing this about 18 months back. I wavered, I faltered. I dropped out of gym; my resolve broke down a few times. But something kept me pushing at it. I never completely gave up. And the results really began to show in the past few months.

I am, hold your breath, 68 kilos now. And counting! I lost a whopping 24 kilos. I have never felt healthier, fitter, charged up, focused, motivated and calmer after my mum’s death. My goal, to reach the magical figure of 63 kilos- according to my ideal body mass Index- by January 2011 is so close. I am way ahead of my target. How? Apart from mentioning them in brief in the above para, I will write about all the weight loss aspects in detail. But first, let me again mention that after losing those unwanted kilos, I have a renewed zest for work, am more focused, my productivity has increased, and let me not get started on the female attention; it has increased exponentially! My father is haranguing me to get married with renewed vigour too! My life is so cool!

This brings us to the thoroughly detailed HOW part. How did I manage to lose approximately the weight of a 10 year old in 18 odd months? And more importantly, how can you use the tips, tricks, cheat sheets and friendly advice to lose weight and lead a cooler life? Read on!

First up, let me make this clear. My Doctor, an old friend, was just being protective. And this article is not to say that Doctors are imbeciles. It was a Doctor friend who helped me with my weight loss. I just took that decision and risk of exercising, and so far, I have been lucky. The spot pains, but my resolve is stronger. And any Appendicitis and follow up Incisional Hernia operation is bound to weaken the muscles. My desire to lose weight, and quickly overrides my discomfort and fear of a relapse operation. I am not encouraging people to forsake medical advice. I am just asking them to not mask their laziness as the doctor’s advice. Why, I am applying all these tips and weight loss principles on my younger brother, who has rounded off really well during his stay at London. But, as he has a multiple times dislocated shoulder, his exercise regimen is different. I have included a regimen for elders and people who can’t exercise due to a valid reason. And no, not having time is NOT a valid reason!

1.  Visualize

Yes guys, this is the first step. And the most important!
The first step is to close your eyes and think. Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to beef up? Why do you want to lose that post maternity flab? Why do you want to tone up those arms? Why do you want a six pack?
I ask you:
  • Do you want to look attractive?
  • Do you, like me, want to come back to your college self?
  • Do you want to be complimented for your figure/physique?
  • Do you want to lead a healthy life?
  • Do you want the high being healthy gives you?
  • Do you want better productivity and focus at work?
  • Do you want to feel energized, light footed and cheerful?
  • Over all, do you want to be happier?

If the answer to any of those questions were affirmative, I ask you again:

  • Is satisfying your tongue, more important than those things?
  • Is it logical to let that three inch organ hurt your whole body?
  • Is gorging on those artery clogging foods really worth it?
  • Is looking like a football when your friend is getting all the attention a good thing?
  • Is having a person advice you, snide at you, and snicker behind your back, with regards to your weight a nice thought?
  • Is huffing and puffing and spitting your gut out in front of your colleagues over a game of beach football a very enticing thought?

I am really hoping you got at least one, big NO!

Right about now, you may have agreed to a few things, and said big NO’s to others. GREAT! All of us work on incentives, both positive and negative. Having a GRRREAT body is a positive incentive, not having to look like a Sumo Wrestler is a negative incentive. Find out why you really, really want to lose weight. ANY reason will do. Any reason that will get you all charged up, and any reason which you can bank upon to re-charge you when things are seemingly not going well; not losing enough weight quickly, getting exhausted, wanting to eat fries at MacD.

Oh, I forgot one thing. When you have your reasons, WRITE THEM DOWN! Carry them with you, in your wallet, you bag your purse. Whenever you feel you are about to break down, read them. God’s honest truth: It works!

Visualize your perfectly thin, or bulked up, or toned body, and why you want it. Find a darn good reason and I assure you, you will lose weight. And when you do, not only will you look sexier, feel smarter, be healthier and happier, be filled with energy, you will get whatever incentive you chose to lose weight. That’s a guarantee!

2.  Find a Buddy/Team/Well wisher/Discourager/Pessimist

You may have come across of many kinds of people and personalities, and I give you two more.

a.     The ones who laugh at the prospect of you losing weight, pass rude remarks about you looking like a tub, and are constantly scoffing or discouraging you for losing weight. They are the ones who deliberately try to entice you to eat those delicious chips, have that extra peg, or double dare you to hog on the ice cream, just because they like to see you fail and lose. They also are very negative and pessimistic (maybe fat, unhealthy and unhappy themselves) and talking to them about anything remotely related to weight loss is a pain and discouraging and un-inspiring.
b.    The ones who support your weight loss goals, no matter how many times you have declared that you will lose weight and have failed to do so.  You may have said it in a drunken stupor, or while clinging to them after a bad break up, but they have always believed you, and have always backed you up.

You can’t always pick and choose the type A and type B people. They may be your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. You may feel that you need more type A people, but here is the thing:

You need both the types to get to your weight loss goal!

Yes siree, you do. The discouragers, type A’s, will dissuade you, mock at you, remind you how big a failure your last attempt was, and how futile it is to try again. They will be pessimistic, unsupportive and a pain in the back side. What do we do?

We take all that negativity as fuel for our weight loss! You have an incentive! You have to prove them wrong! And as Henry Ford once said, “It is great to do things that people deem impossible!”

  •  You have to prove that irritating Aunty who keeps shaking her head and saying,” Who will want to marry her?’”, wrong!
  • You have to prove that awful colleague, who manipulates your emotions and ends up having fed you a whole pizza, wrong!
  • You have to prove to your grandmother, who has resigned to the fact that you will NEVER lose weight, wrong!
Think about it, and you will find ten people in my kinda type A category. Personally, I found more such people in my life. And now, when I meet them, while I am all pleasant and charming (Did I mention slim, sexy and handsome?) to their face, this is what I am saying in my mind: In your face, *******!

Enough of the type A pessimists. Let’s head over to the endearing type B buddies!

Share your goal, yet again, with them. Tell them the reasons, if you can, for your weight loss need. They may be a bit skeptical if this is the 56th time you have resolved to lose weight. Do something that you have never done before. Empower them to take responsibility for your weight loss.  Give them full authority to call you and ask/ shout at you. They will be responsible for your daily gym/walk/skipping routine, for ensuring you are eating right, sleeping properly and are focused towards your goal.  You can also swear at the type A insensitive imbeciles when in the company of buddies.

Ah yes, on your part, try not to snap at them when they chide you, goad you or reprimand you. They are not trying to be controlling, they are merely trying to help you get to the weight loss goals that you had for yourself.
At this point, you must be thinking, when will the magic exercises and diet tips come? This is all boring! Well, I kid you not; like an hour of planning saves 10 hours of work, visualizing, finding reasons and enrolling buddies will ensure you follow a healthy way of life, and stick to it!

3.  Declare!

That’s right. You know what I mean. This, for some, is the hardest part. Declare to the world, that you are on a weight loss regimen! Post it on Facebook, inform your family and friends, even your watchman. This will also get you a few type A and B people.

Now, I am not a Human Psychology expert, but I know two things for sure.
a.     This is the least heeded advice.
b.    People want to look good, and declaring stuff helps them stick to their word.

While I know that most people won’t listen to this bit, let me tell you how it worked for me.

  • My well-wishers list grew. I found more people were supportive to the cause
  • I found more people to prove wrong :)
  • I was afraid to let my well wishers down, and give my discouragers a chance to take a swipe at me

I lost weight faster, and this time, for good! Because I, like you, was a social animal that did not eat that burger if an attractive colleague looked at me disdainfully. I didn’t gulp down that cola in the theatre, just to be spared of the constant cussing by my pals. Declaring helped, in more ways than one.

End of Part One. Think about what you have read. The second part is coming in two days. Till then, if you have any queries, you can call me or mail me. We have begun the journey. Good Luck! You’re not alone. I’m there with you. So are many other people who love you! Go for it! 


Unknown said...

U inspire me to the core....There is some magic in your writing which keeps me on the move...I tend to think about it...(trust me here)..... )for some days:P...n den its lost somewhere in dis tiny brain of mine.....

Ur articles makes me happy....:)

Unknown said...

First of all, you definitely look great in your 'after' picture!:)
And, your blog is super! Precise, inspiring and well put together!
Way to go Kartik, keep it up! :)

Cheers from a lifelong supporter of the 'B' kind! :P

Kartik said...

Thanks, Clancy and Rash bhabhi :)