‘H&N’ reader’s transformation from fat to fit
When I was in my 20s, I never realized the importance of health and fitness. That was the time when my metabolism was fast, I partied hard, ate late at night, drank a lot and slept late. After all those years of smoking, abusing the body with alcohol, neglecting health and not exercising, and binging on buffets and junk food like pizzas, burgers, chips, diet cokes, biscuits etc, my body took a beating. When I was in my early 30s, I realized I had a beer belly and looked 10 years older than my age. My face was puffy and my family members started making fun of how fat I was. I felt crappy about myself and my selfconfidence was at an all-time low. I was easily irritated with what anyone said, and criticism was never welcome.
YOGA TO THE RESCUE
My father always pushed me to do yoga and lead a healthy lifestyle, but I never understood what he said. He is 70 years now, doesn’t look his age, believes in nature cure and doesn’t get out of the house without doing yoga. He avoids outside food and is very disciplined. He insisted I start with a yoga trainer who came home every morning and taught me one hour of yoga. I then started reading diet and nutrition books and watched what I eat. This was when I was 93 kgs. I made it a point to never skip breakfast and dinner was the lightest meal consisting of salad, soups etc. From 10 surya namaskars, I was able to do 100 surya namaskars in a few months. I did a lot of breathing exercises and also various versions of pranayama.
I quit smoking in 2013. I realized that when I did breathing exercises and then smoked later in the day, it was like as if I was cleansing my body by doing pranayama but was putting crap in it by smoking. I was coughing and spitting black phlegm. Smoking is the worst thing we can do to our body, and I thank my stars for quitting it. I picked up the habit when I was 20 years, in college, and smoked my lungs out for a good 13 years. We think smoking reduces our stress but it’s actually the opposite; it increases our heartbeat and makes us more hyper and impulsive.
When I was in my early 30s. I realized I had a beer belly and looked 10 years older than my age. My face was puffy and my family members started making fun of how fat I was. I felt crappy about myself and self-confidence was at an all-time low.
Now, I can handle stressful situations more calmly compared to when I was smoking. We just find an escape in smoking which doesn’t help us at all. And yes, if I was smoking today, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I am doing now - running half marathons and cycling 50-100 kms thrice a week.
WEIGHT LOSS & THE NEW ME
After I quit smoking, and was doing yoga regularly, I lost almost 21 kgs, and came down to 72 kgs from 93 kgs. My height is 5 ft 10.5 inches, and according to my height, the ideal weight should be around 75 kgs. With my excess weight gone, cheek and jaw bones accentuated and belly fat lost, I started getting a lot of compliments from my family members and friends. I became more confident and felt good about myself. I used to always
Smoking is the worst thing we can do to our body. and I thank my stars for quitting it. I picked up the habit when I was 20 years. in college. and smoked my lungs out for a good 13 years. After I quit smoking. and was doing yoga regularly. I lost almost 21 kgs and came down to 72 from 93 kgs
wear black earlier and avoided wearing light colours. But after losing my excess weight, I started wearing all colours, and white, which I hated, become my favourite colour.
RUNNING AWAY THE BLUES
I then happened to go to Norway for a wedding-cum-vacation for a week. There, I saw people cycling on hills and running in the outdoors in the morning. By then, the running bug had already bitten me and I had successfully completed my first Airtel half marathon. So I started getting up early and running outdoors in the mornings. It’s the best way to see a place while on vacation. Everything looks different and so beautiful in the mornings. From being a night owl, I became an early riser. I started appreciating the habit of sleeping early and getting up
early, and I started enjoying the mornings. I then happened to travel for work to Amsterdam and was inspired by this bicycle-friendly city. When I went to Paris, I was up and running in the mornings along the Seine river upto Eiffel Tower. The experience and sights were a memory to cherish. I even took a bicycle tour in Paris and Barcelona.
MORE ADVENTURES BECKON
I even cycled around Agra, till the Taj Mahal and on the banks of the Yamuna river. Last year, I cycled a total of 365 kms from Delhi to Chandigarh to Shimla in two days with the Delhi cyclists group! I have realized now that I am more of an outdoor person, but at the same time, I also realized the importance of strength training and a good workout in the gym. When the body loses weight, it needs to develop muscle and be toned so that the skin doesn’t hang. I make sure I go to the gym and do weights at least thrice a week. I have also got the hang of endurance sports through running and cycling and aspire to run a full marathon one day. My future goals include improving my swimming and learning to swim in open waters, Half Iron 70.8 and full Iron Man. In November 2017, I did my first triathlon sprint in Delhi which comprises 800 mtrs swim in an Olympic size swimming pool, 20 km cycling and a 5 k run, all to be done in 2 hrs 30 mins which I finished in 1 hr 45 mins only. This year, I ran the New Delhi marathon - 21kms - my fourth half marathon. Also, I did my longest unsupported ride on cycle, 600 kms from Delhi to Panipat - Ambala and back - in two days, within the stipulated time. Last Sunday, I finished the devil’s circuit
I did my first triathlon sprint in Delhi which comprises 800 mtrs swim in an Olympic size swimming pool, 20 km cycling and a 5 k run, all to be done in 2 hrs 30 mins which I finished in 1 hr 45 mins only.
which is a 5 km obstacle race with 15 military style obstacles. Now, I am training for the full marathon in Mumbai in January 2019. Long distance cycling and running are my current passions. I am also pursuing Randonneuring, a popular sport from France which consists of long distance cycling. I am also learning kick boxing, ropes in Gold Gym and also try to strength train two-three times a week.
FIT FOR LIFE
This is my success/ fitness journey so far, but it’s just the beginning. As someone said, keep doing your best and pushing yourself, you don’t know who you are inspiring! After a few years of my first huge weight loss, I have managed to maintain my weight, and today at 72 kgs, I am much fitter than I was at 72 kgs a few years ago. I am still learning, and have realized that fitness is a constant endeavour, a change in lifestyle for life.
After weight loss Before weight loss