From bad to worse

Friday - - Society Real Life -

Then in 2005 I had to un­dergo an emer­gency hys­terec­tomy be­cause of a se­ri­ous in­fec­tion doc­tors said could re­sult in a cyst if left un­treated. I had to stay in bed for two months. The weight piled on. By the time I could get up and move around, I was 12kg heav­ier.

To make mat­ters worse, three years later I also de­vel­oped hy­pothy­roidism – where the thy­roid gland doesn’t pro­duce enough of some thy­roid hor­mone. It’s a con­di­tion that can raise your choles­terol lev­els, cause obe­sity and even a heart con­di­tion.

Be­fore I knew it my weight was 90kg, I couldn’t squeeze into my jeans and T-shirts and felt ter­ri­ble – strug­gling to breathe and listless.

My hus­band too was obese at 92kg. He had al­ways been over­weight but I ap­peared much fat­ter than him. I packed away my T-shirts and jeans, and opted for over­sized sal­war kameezes and used a shawl to hide my rolls of fat.

I was los­ing my self-con­fi­dence and be­came re­luc­tant to step out in front of a crowd, fear­ing they would snig­ger about my size.

While none of my friends com­mented on all the weight I’d put on, my hus­band be­gan to worry about my health and of­ten sug­gested that I en­rol in a gym or go on a diet. “I’ll help you and we can go to a di­eti­cian to­gether,’’ he of­ten told me. “I am sure if you fol­low a proper diet, you can lose the ex­tra weight.’’

But I didn’t want to go to a stranger and talk about my body, my diet or my self-im­age is­sues. So I al­ways made ex­cuses not to go – not enough time, the cost, any­thing to avoid it.

“Why don’t you try yoga?’’ my hus­band asked. Will­ing to try, I en­rolled in a cen­tre in Dubai. Three months later I found that while I’d lost a cou­ple of inches off my waist, my weight had barely dropped by a kilo­gram or two.

With each pass­ing day, my ex­pand­ing girth was mak­ing me more and more self-con­scious and from be­ing a party lover who would ar­range get-to­geth­ers and so­cial gath­er­ings, I now had to be coaxed out of the house.

I’d stand at the back of the group in pho­tos, and would make up rea­sons why I couldn’t at­tend par­ties and so­cial func­tions.

Then, in Septem­ber 2012 I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen for over a year and half. She had al­ways been around my size, but she was al­most half the size she’d been, thin, glow­ing and pretty. “What did you do?” I asked, in­cred­u­lous, and she told me she had lost 33kg in a year on a fruit diet pre­scribed by a Shar­jah­based homeo­pathic doc­tor named Swati Shah.

In­spired by her, I promptly made an ap­point­ment with the doc­tor. I was will­ing to do any­thing to lose my ex­cess weight. One of the first things the doc­tor did was pre­scribe a num­ber of tests to check my blood su­gar, choles­terol, triglyc­erides lev­els and my thy­roid. The re­sults showed I was suf­fer­ing from hor­monal im­bal­ance be­cause my thy­roid gland was not func­tion­ing prop­erly. I was also found to be de­fi­cient in vitamin B12 – in­volved in me­tab­o­lism and en­ergy pro­duc­tion – and D - the sun­shine vitamin, per­haps be­cause I wasn’t go­ing out­doors a lot af­ter I had put on weight.

My BMI was ex­tremely wor­ry­ing – 36 when the ideal is 22 to 24. The doc­tor first pre­scribed vitamin tablets to for­tify the de­fi­cien­cies and made an elab­o­rate diet chart for me to fol­low.

“Raw fruits and veg­eta­bles are what you should have in plenty,’’ she told me.

On day one I could have bananas with a bowl of salad that in­cluded let­tuce, toma­toes, cu­cum­bers and onions with a dash of le­mon juice. On day two I could eat any num­ber of ap­ples with a bowl of salad. On day three it was wa­ter­melon, day four was yel­low pear, day five

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