Here’s how I lost 20 kg easily
The battle is always a mental one.
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I stand in front of the mirror, not quite looking into it, willing myself to have the courage to confront and own what I see. I am over 20 kg overweight and know I look ugly — at least, I feel pretty ugly and no one can convince me otherwise.
There are always those people — ‘concerned’ relatives and friends — who tell you, “You need to lose weight.” I can vouch for almost everyone when I say, “I know. I wrestle with this awareness every day, struggling, sometimes despairing, but thank you so much for pointing out the obvious, and for making me feel bad about myself.”
Society can be judgmental about your weight gain. (Source: Reuters)
I push these thoughts aside and brace myself to look. What I see breaks my heart.
Fat. Fat everywhere.
The extra fat on my body are battle scars, reminders of the depression I try so hard to fight on most days. The deposits of fat on my face, breasts, shoulders, stomach, legs are all physical evidence of an internal mental struggle. I know I can’t blame depression alone — I was in-charge of what I ate — but seeing myself, in all my naked unglory, makes me feel scared and helpless.
Crying weakly, I pull the clothes back over myself and allow myself to indulge in a pity party.
But this time, instead of reaching out for the usual chips and chocolate that was my par for the course, I go online.
Something was different this time. I could feel it. I try so hard to quantify that moment, capture it, and make it tangible, but the truth is — I can’t. It was just an indescribable sense of ‘I’ve had enough of this’.
How did I lose those 20 kgs?
By thinking about losing them constantly. I’m serious. Obsession has always been my modus operandi for achieving something.
I put up reminders everywhere I could — in my room, on my phone, at my office desk. I even briefly considered getting a tattoo.
During the day, I ate small portions and walked as much as I could.
We need to be mindful about what we eat — at all times. (Source: India Today)
At night, I browsed for hours, reading one success story after another, devouring motivational quotes, and gobbling tips for weight loss.
And, so, before I could even believe it, the weight started dropping.
Slowly, of course. Two kg in a week. Then four kg in a month. Then eight kg in two months.
My reading empowered me, as it made me realise how easily you can lose weight — and how easily it can creep back, if you’re not careful. I avoided fad diets, smoothies, teas, weight-loss cookies, etc. This was a lifestyle change I needed to commit to, not a temporary phase.
My body supported me — tremulously, at first, and then thoroughly. I think it was so tired of always feeling overwhelmingly full and tired, irritable, angry. When I started nourishing my body with a balanced diet that included lots of fruits and vegetables, it responded automatically. I almost felt like it gave a great big sigh and told me, “Thank you. I’ve been waiting my whole life to become friends with you.”
My body was on my side, and that made the weight loss easier and more dramatic. My friends and colleagues began asking me for tips. I did hear the usual “You’ve lost too much weight”, but this time, I listened only to myself and my body.
I’ve noticed, however, that since losing weight, I’ve become constantly obsessed with maintaining it. It’s not just my food choices that have been impacted, but my self-image as well.
There are days when I still see the same deposits of fat, even though there are none. Subconsciously, I compare myself to Instagram models, marvelling at their washboard abs, taut legs, and lithe bodies.
I know that I betray my body, my friend, by wishing I was like them, and forget that I don’t need to be. I have come very far in this journey, and now the battle that begins is a mental one.
To be honest, the battle is always a mental one. Change always begins in the mind.
A balanced diet is key to good health. (Source: Twitter)
Why do I write this? Because I know that other women go through this too. Old, young, fat, thin, fit, athletic — we all have the same doubts. Fat days unite us like nothing else and God forbid we end up eating a donut we were not supposed to.
This has led me to wonder: Does weight loss mean more for one gender than the other? Does one gender value appearance more than the other? And, if so, why? Is it because we correlate our physical appearance with our ability to be loved? Does how we look physically overwhelmingly affect how we feel?
Do the people in our life really care if we’re five kg overweight? Some may say yes. But if that five kg of weight means we enjoy life, experience the ecstasy of eating what we can, indulge in every little sip of fancy coffee and bite of soul-satisfying food, isn’t it better to be five kg overweight? After all, we are a collection of our experiences. Can five kg really take away our self-worth? Our happiness?
While I know the answer on a spiritual level, it’s one I tussle with emotionally almost every day.
Losing weight is easy. Losing excess baggage is harder.