When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see a happy face with a happy heart or a smiling face that hides insecurities, and body image issues? It is so important to pay attention to your mental health and the happiness quotient in your lives. I was oblivious to the depth of this reality and was living a life with a blindfold on. I was obese and had depressing body image issues for over ten years, but I was living a life on lies and negligence. During my entire school and college days, that sums up to 8-10 years in general, and I faced bullying, backlashes, and a lot of misleading advice on health and weight. On top of everything, I never realized that my weight was a cause behind my respiratory issues and skin conditions. This is what we never understand. One situation leads to another, and this is why treating the symptom and not the cause is essential.
Wrong Advice that Shaped the Initial Phase of My Life
This is the big dangerous world of the Internet, and the information overload is way too overwhelming. A ton of YouTube videos, DIY, and home tips are already present online, and they are all based on personal experiences. Therefore, there is a high possibility that these tips may or may not resonate with your conditions and lifestyle. Similar to other skills, I too used to get a lot of advice that was far from the truth and very close to people’s perception of how they see the world. It is sad for anyone who goes through obesity and other problems that comes with it, including the mockery. Some advice that I got during my ten years of suffering:
- Obesity is all about age and as one ages fat seems to diminish on its own. Well, I hope it did.
- If you are obese, you will never be accepted in this society. This was such a harsh thing to hear.
- There is nothing wrong with eating meat or dairy. This is highly specific when it is about efficacy or failure.
- Digestive problems cause skin issues.
- Eating deep fried once in a while is not a bad thing. Fried food triggers cravings, and it is never about one day.
If you are someone who is struggling with weight issues and reading this, then you are in the right place. For everyone else who is already on this journey or need motivation then there is no rule. Just pin your head down, make a plan, and start working. My health regime is simple and easy to decode. Simplicity has helped me reach my goals in less than six months, and the journey is still on.
My Fitness Routine
I have always been a fan of everything that is simple and easy-to-implement. At the height of 159 centimetres, I weighed 75 Kilograms, and it was difficult for me to choose one exercise that lets me drop some weight while not triggering my Asthma. I started working out way back in 2016, and by then the medical conditions had, and knee pain was persistent. One beautiful evening of August 2016, I was in a local park, and I saw a group of old men and women walking briskly on the cemented pathways. They were all chatting, giggling, and doing the cardio walks. I said to myself that this could be a great way to start exercising. Walking is, in fact, less stressful on bones and body as compared to Jogging or Running. With that said, here is what I did and still do:
- My workout regime changes with the season. However, you can stick to one time of the day and stick to your schedule. In summers, I go out for a brisk walk in the evenings, and the schedule flips in winter. For one hour, I take a good number of rounds of a park, or if it’s a straight path, then I walk at a high pace for about an hr or I hour and 15 minutes.
- I have to feel the sweat building up to reap the benefits out of the cardio exercise.
- Post this exercise, I do some stretches and do Shavasana (A Yoga Pose). This Yoga pose relaxes my body and balances my breathing.
- For me, cardio is essential as I tend to gain weight quickly. I do Brisk Walking for five days a week and the remaining two days are for complete relaxation.
Learning New Workout
- I am learning Hatha Yoga, and this has helped me to follow a regime that is a mixture of different types of workouts. Cardio sheds the flab while Yoga helps with body contouring and breathing rhythm.
- You can either learn Yoga yourself, or access special services like booking a Yoga Instructor at home, or probably, learn basic poses. This way you save a lot of time.
My diet has been a victim of wrong advice, diet fads, and trends that don’t work everywhere. I was a big fan of the raw diet, but it never was a reality for me because my addiction to junk food was the hardest to break. Everything healthy and fancy was just a part of the dream. When I started my fitness journey, I was living as a tenant somewhere, and the type of meals I was eating was never nutritious and complete. An Indian platter is a great way to include all necessary nutrients in your body ay one go, but my living conditions were such that things were not possible. After a lot of hit and trials, I finally pinned down one diet that applies to every meal:
I start my day with a glass of warm water, and after 15 minutes, I go for my caffeine punch of the day- Tea.
Typical Indian options like upma, Poha, idli or Roti & Sabji. Follow the food culture in your region and incorporate healthy and filling choices. Try avoiding or limit the intake of refined carbohydrates like white bread, refined flour or Maida, white pasta or noodles.
Includes rice, cooked vegetables, lentil soup (dal), salad and fermented lemons. Fermented lemons or Achaar is an excellent way to add probiotics in your diet. Make Achaar at home using the age-old recipes.
Same as Lunch, only the rice is replaced with mixed flour chapatti. The flour is a mix of wheat, Ragi, Millet, and Rice flour.
All these are vegan. This is completely my personal choice. If you are a meat-eater, make sure you get the raw meat from a local butcher, and same is with vegetarian, source your Paneer(Cottage cheese) from a trusted vendor who makes fresh supplies every day. The idea is to ditch the malls and go for farms more.
- Do not go for packaged Namkeen or Biscuit or you can limit the intake. I suggest and prefer:
- Puffed rice with toasted Chana (Murmure and Bhuna Kala chana)
- Popcorn, roasted peanuts (avoid if you have a nut allergy)
- Lightly fried peas with flattened rice (Chidwa), here is the recipe [ref-1]
- Fruits make a great snack option (go for seasonal)
One Last Thing
Nothing will work if you lack a positive mindset and that feeling of motivation. You have to listen to your own body and not in people’s opinion. Remember, this is your life, and the reins are in your hand, so, you can pull them the way you want. Half of my life was ruined because I listened to people and not myself. It is time for you to feel at the top of the world.