On the move
I also began going for a brisk walk for 25 minutes every morning and did some simple stretching exercises. I took the stairs instead of the lift when visiting friends. I couldn’t do it in my building because I live on the 24th floor, but I’d climb two to three flights and then take the elevator up.
That first week was tough but the second week I was allowed a glass of low-fat milk, yogurt and steamed sprouts. The third week I started adding some variety to the diet by sprinkling puffed rice over my salads and including vegetable soups made of pea, potato or asparagus, and mango, banana and watermelon juices.
Within a month, I’d lost 10kg. I was amazed – and so were others. “Wow you look amazing,’’ my daughter said on returning home after a two-month visit to India.
I began to get adventurous and cooked up new recipes for salads. Some days I would grate beetroots and sprinkle them with lemon juice or cube green apples and eat them mixed with rice crisps.
By the second month I could include a wholemeal vegetable sandwich without dressing or one roti without ghee with vegetables cooked without oil, such as sautéed on a non-stick pan. I was also allowed to have cooked food but with very little oil. Where earlier I would use oil liberally now I learnt to cook with non-stick pans with no oil or just a teaspoon of oil.
I did have cravings but whenever they were really strong, I would have a bowl of salad or a fruit. By December 2012, two months later, I had lost 5kg more.
From then onwards the weight loss was steady. In February 2013, I also learnt to swim and that made me fitter. I found I could slip into medium-size T-shirts and fitted jeans. Seeing my change, Parijat was impressed. “I want to go on your diet,” he said and after seeing the doctor was given his own fruit plan to follow. He went from 90kg to 79kg in nine months.
By August 2013, I’d lost 35kg and I am now 54kg, which brought my BMI down to a healthy 22. Now my day starts with a brisk 45-minute walk followed by some stretching exercises. I never miss my breakfast of cornflakes and milk now. Lunch is still salads and a mixture of fruit.
I feel fitter, lighter and more active. Although switching to a healthy diet means I am cutting and chopping veggies and fruits the whole day, I don’t mind the extra work at all.
At parties people sometimes fail to recognise me, I look so different. I have also been getting my children to follow a healthy diet and to cut down on oil in food.
I am enjoying all the fun the new me is bringing every day. This year I danced for two hours continuously during the Navratri festival at Zabeel Park. Where earlier I used to feel tired even doing housework, now I feel more active and fit.
The best thing is that now I can fit into my skinny jeans and slim-fitting tops. And I can start shopping for ‘medium’ clothes.