I lost 13 kilos — It always feels impossible till it is done…

The Change: I lost around 13 kilos since December, 2016 and gained a confidence that you can’t miss when you are around me. I have found a new version of myself which has been a great journey.

The Impact: A bigger change is the change in my lifestyle which felt impossible back then. A bigger change is my ability to handle the ups and down in life so gracefully which felt impossible back then.

You would be wondering why a blog on losing weight should talk about handling lows. If fitness is not a part of your lifestyle, you wont be able to believe me till you experience the change yourself.

Where this started: Late last year, I realized that I was working around 20 hours a day. I had little discipline and I had friends who were similar to me i.e migrants who worked on weekdays and ate on weekends. Then karma played some games and I reached a point where I felt lost. I don’t know if I was happy with the person I was and did not find anyway or anyone who could help me find my way back.

I still remember that it was my parents who encouraged me to join the ‘gym’. Dad said “Go there one hour every week and smash it. Work really hard and then tell me if you don’t feel a change”.

Before we talk about where I am today, below are the things that helped me in this journey to finding a new way of living life:

Restrain:

I started with a 1200 calorie plan and was tracking every calorie consumed for the first two months. Writing down what you eat will help you get rid of junk. That’s what it did for me.

Slowly, I realized that the trick was in having restrain. I could have almost everything I liked in small quantities. I admit my love for Hoegaarden and was happy with one in the week.

Protein: As an Indian, I like my roti and rice. I soon realized that my meal was full of carbohydrate. For the last six months, I have not had white rice, noodles, pasta, bread, piza and sweets. I switched to a sugar free diet which was a big change back then.

In this journey I read a lot of blogs and saw many new channels on youtube. I read somewhere that no meal is complete without protein. That’s the only thing that’s on my mind when I think of food i.e “Where is protein?”.

That’s when i looked at my kitchen carefully and found all the different lentils that were pure protein. Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Black gram and Yellow lentil is available in every Indian kitchen. Boil and eat with toppings you like. I found new recipes like ‘Matra’ which was boiled green peas smashed with chilly that I loved.

I found protein ice creams helped when I craved for ice cream. I have nearly half kilo almonds every week which is my midnight snack because I still work long hours.

For meat lovers, just stick to grilled food. I love chicken so Grilled Chicken is a part of my staple diet.

It’s not that hard as we think it would be.

I believe that this only big change if you have to make fitness a lifestyle goal. You can skip food for some time (not good!) but the key is in finding sustainable food plans that replace your current meal plan.

You can always find cheat days for the exotic dishes (aaloo paratha or the biryani) but then go back to the point on restrain.

Strength Training: Simple cardio is not good enough. Weights and strength training should be an integral part of your training. You have to build your muscles and strengthen your core. From not being able to do a 60 second plank, I have gone to doing 5 minutes. I don’t think that was possible without strength training. I train 5–6 days a week for 45 minutes. This is the best time in my day and I don’t miss it for anything.

“You are stronger than your excuses”!

Try new things like deadlift, kettle bell squats, barbell squats etc. Building body strength is like building a house. Build a strong foundation with good technique before you add heavy weights.

Don’t Cheat:

The more important thing here is to not cheat yourself. Be honest when you are doing your reps. You are the only one losing out if you are cheating in this process. I travel a fair bit for work but never skipped my workout even while travelling.

Take Rest: I overdo things all the time. When you are working hard then you have to take rest. Be kind to your body and even if you have loads of work, just find the time to sleep. Using gels for muscle recovery is also handy. I used sky gel which is a miracle I think.

Coach:

The day I met Bryan who is a corporate fitness coach and runs InFitPTv, I just found his confidence intimidating. I secretly felt happy that he put me on to a different personal trainer for the first session. But as things turned out the other guy left and I started training with Bryan.

I think the biggest benefit of a coach is in crossing the boundaries that exist in your mind. Strength training is impossible without a good coach. I have walked into sessions thinking I had nothing in me. I have broken down many times but I just trust my coach. He knows what lies at the end of that 45 minute session.

Honestly, a good coach is selfless. His only goal is to help you and improve your fitness levels. He is not selling you more sessions or asking you to buy a package. He is talking about your goals and how he can help you succeed. You will find one somewhere for sure. If you are in Melbourne then join InFitPTv :)

A couple of months into the journey you will want to give up and that’s when your coach will pull you back.

And I cant tell you how important that is!

Today: I look and feel very different. For a change this feels so sustainable. I would like to re-iterate that its not the weight loss I am celebrating but the uplift in my overall physical and mental health. My productivity at work has gone up. I am happier and my mind is sharper than ever. I can get rid of negatives very quickly and find my equilibrium very quickly.

What we achieve professionally in life is subject to many things. What you achieve socially in life is also subject to many things.

As a doer and achiever in life, I think this has been my biggest achievement till date!