How did you start? … is a question we get asked often. Looking back, there are many many times that we ‘started’.
- The infamous GM diet started and ended pretty quickly.
- A notorious Cabbage Soup that we made a huge batch of and forgot over the stove, had us wake up to a smoky house in the middle of the night. That’s right… that plan went up (almost) in flames!
- There was a juice thing that someone recommended. Didn’t get past the second day I guess.
A definite beginning was when we started walking around Ajman Ladies Park. It was recommended by someone at the grocery store. We tried it out slowly. We would do about 20 minutes and my feet would just give out. Jose wouldn’t have even broken a sweat. He’d take me home and amidst my agonising screams, massage my feet.
We were naive about portion control back then. Our staple was brown pasta with veggies and chicken. Though we ate huge multiple servings, the weight was slowly going down. But, a sustainable strategy was beyond our grasp. We would often go on binges. Work stress, lack of knowledge, bad advice from well-meaning people and ill health drove us back to familiar unhealthy habits.
It was at this time that our friend Gautam visited. His visit came at an opportune time. We were trying hard and the results were slow and staggered. I’ll never forget what he asked”What happened to your attitude?”
“What attitude?” I asked. “You know, your ‘ **** all, I got this s*** handled’ attitude? That’s all you need”
For the first time, he didn’t offer unsolicited advice, he didn’t talk about family or friends, he didn’t say I had to do this for such and such a reason. He encouraged me to simply soldier on and not lose my spirit.That night on the balcony, sitting among my favorite men, I felt at peace with myself and my body.
Jose and I discussed a lot about that day. Many times, we seek validation from the world for doing something good… from family – fr
om friends…It is important for us to be recognised, for the changes we make to be accepted and not ridiculed – atleast acknowledged. But we don’t always get the motivation we need. Free advice at 3 for the price of 2 -yes. Simple acceptance and acknowledgement – tough luck .
Think about this though : you put the food in your mouth, you put one foot in front of the other – Why should that matter to anyone else but you?
These thoughts led us to the ultimate secret of weight loss – It’s about what you do for yourself.
Motivation comes from within and is powered by the endless criticism, sneers, back talk, pitying looks and failure – and boy did we have enough fuel to get us to the moon and back! So Phase 1 had begun.
Phase 1 was simple: Split Meals 6 ways
We decided to eat six times a day. Simple small meals and snacks that would keep us full.
Early Breakfast – Breakfast – Snack 1 – Lunch – Snack 2-Snack 3 – Dinner
Phase 1 Challenges:
- Preparing and carrying at least 4 meals to work. It required planning, bigger / larger number of lunch boxes.
We looked liked dabbawallas.
- Eating in proper intervals. With the kind of work we do and our environment, it was hard to take a break now and then to munch on something. It looked like we were always eating. I used to often get comments about eating too much, if I was sure I wanted that, if I was on a ‘diet’ (this gets old too quickly and is just plain boring after a while)
- Cleaning up after meal preparation. The dishes 🙁
- Keeping track of meals on excel sheet
- Walking regularly
Phase 1 Successes:
- Started losing weight slowly
- Six meals kept us full
- Binge eating slowly faded
- Moods stabilized – motivation increased
Little did we know that Phase 1 wouldn’t last for long. I was so out of shape that my lungs couldn’t handle it, flaring up asthma requiring nebulisation. Morbid Obesity decreases one’s control over asthma and reduces lung function. Those were tough days. I was put on Seretide and one of the side-effects was weight gain. The doctor smirked and told me that it was going to be near impossible to lose weight. Phase 1 was suddenly in low gear, crawling to a stop… (To be Continued)
To read Part 1 – Click Here