My personal weight loss journey SIMRUN CHOPRA
Have you ever noticed how the weight just creeps up on you post your wedding? A kilo here, a kilo there, nothing that you notice until your clothes don’t fit !!! You convince yourself, it’s just a couple of kilos and that it’s not a big deal. It did not seem like an issue to me either until we decided to get pregnant and the severity of Poly Cystic Ovaries (PCOS) hit me. Unlike in the movies, getting pregnant becomes hard, the 9 months that follow are harder and it doesn’t end there.
A healthy baby was a welcome blessing after a difficult pregnancy. Like a typical grandma tale, I thought by feeding a baby got you mean “ eat what you want” free card. I started eating without reservation and before I knew it I was 20 kgs overweight and thoroughly depressed. The weight aggravated the PCOS, which in turn resulted in multiple hormonal issues, irregular cycles, and mood swings. My self-image was at it’s lowest. I didn’t like the person I saw in the mirror, it didn’t look or feel like me.
Most of all I couldn’t relate to this version of me !!!
With steadily dwindling self-esteem, I started avoiding social gatherings and resorted to binge eating. First it was occasional and suddenly it became a constant habit !! I was stuck in a vicious cycle. I knew I had to do something and I just didn’t know what !!!
One day when I was home alone with my 3-month-old baby, I collapsed and all I knew was that I could not move. I was diagnosed with two bulged discs and a degenerate one. My weight and lack of strength were causing too much stress on my back. Though I was in immense pain, I could not take muscle relaxants as I was still feeding. I was very immobile and succumbed to crawling around the house for a week to get around. The pain took 3 months to subside. Sitting in one place for over 30 mins would cause my back to freezing and I wouldn’t be able to stand up. I could never go for a movie or even sit down for dinner. I didn’t think it could get worse !!!
A few months later it happened again. A month later it happened again. The doctors told me I needed to lose weight and strengthen my core, hamstrings, and back.
I resorted to dieting, which with my limited knowledge meant ‘eat less, eat less’. I lost a couple of kgs but nothing noticeable. More importantly, my back didn’t feel better, and I knew this ‘dieting’ wasn’t sustainable.
The last little nudge was a friend telling me I looked like a “beached whale” ( I am so glad he did). That motivated me to look for a sustainable solution.
Another friend had lost her postpartum weight with her trainer, Zainn Ovais. I decided to speak to him. At first, I was apprehensive, I had the standard misconceptions, gyms were boring and lifting weights would make me bulky !!!
Then again I had nothing to lose. Uncomfortable and a little lost I met him. Meeting Zainn changed my life. His confidence and knowledge were reassuring. He, on that first day, made me feel I could do this.. There was no looking back from there.
He prioritized my back and health while reassuring me that weight loss would be a welcome side effect. We did a combination of strength training and cardio along with a nutritional plan that complimented my fitness regime. We prioritized well-balanced meals, which initially seemed like too much food to me. I lost 4 kgs in that first month and it felt great. I knew then that I had to give it my 100% dedication. I showed up every day, did exactly what he told me, ate exactly what he told me and lo and behold i had dropped 4 sizes and nearly 20 kgs in less than 4 months.
I looked different, I felt confident, strong and felt fit !!
My PCOS had corrected itself and more importantly, I had had no back issues in 4 months. From not being able to sit through a Movie or Dinner, I wanted to try rock climbing and was successful !! That’s when I realized how far I had come and how important it was to be fit, NOT skinny.
I was back to my wedding day weight and a size smaller, looked fitter and felt healthier. My friends say I look fitter now at 35 than i did in school or college. Only a well-formulated plan that includes fitness and nutrition can do that.
A lot of people think dieting is more important than exercising, which was my opinion at one point too. Not anymore, I know from personal experience that eating less does not help, it might cause a temporary superficial weight loss, but that’s it. I believe its more important to have a well-balanced lifestyle that includes an exercise regime, a nutritious meal plan and adequate rest. Such a change needs to be sustainable.
Recently I was asked, “how did you manage to take so much time away from your child ? ”.
Its simple, if I take two hours a day away from him the other 22 are of intensely additional value. I can promise you, when I look back, if I still looked like a beached whale and had a back problem, I wouldn’t be able to jump around and have the adventures with him that I do now. Also raising a son has become a really momentous and important task in today’s day and age in our country. I take great pride in raising a son who looks up to women. I want him to look at me and think women should be independent, fit, strong, healthy.
I have decided to use my journey and my learnings to help moms like me, who don’t know where to start. My advice to each of them would be: Do it for yourself. For your own health and own well being. Find time for yourself, prioritize yourself. The need is for the hour and doesn’t procrastinate !!!
My advice to anyone who is struggling would be, start with finding a physical activity that works for you and one you can stick to. Compliment it with a well-balanced meal plan that gives you adequate nourishment. Most importantly, avoid fad diets or anything that promises a quick fix. There is no quick fix.
Remember losing weight is easy, but it requires work, dedication, and self-motivation to maintain and lead a healthy lifestyle.
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