Suc­cess Story

‘H&N’ reader’s trans­for­ma­tion from fat to fit

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS - DEEPAK GUPTA [email protected]

THE REAL­IZA­TION

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.

QUIT­TING SMOK­ING

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

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