All it takes is one incident to get you back to your senses, to make you aware and nudge you back towards your path. For me, this day came when I looked into the mirror and saw my oblique-obese future staring back at me.
Weighing 140 kg, I was a happy-go-lucky kid born in a vegetarian Gujarati household and I loved food! Needless to say, this love for food and lack of exercise was what resulted in my being overweight.
My reason to lose weight wasn’t just my size or the number on the weighing scale. It was also about a few medical conditions that I had. I was suffering from blood pressure and sleep apnoea, which is a serious condition that causes irregular breathing during one’s sleep. I even found it difficult to walk for more than 10 minutes.
With issues like this, the concept of exercise was incomprehensible—exercise required movement and I could barely move. Back then, I got my first sleep apnoea attack in Germany when I was in the country on a work visit. That’s when I decided that it was about time. Something had to be done! Not one with a lot of patience, I wanted quick results.
My wake-up call, as I like to call it, came when I realised I could barely move, was lethargic, unhappy, had trouble sleeping and difficulty breathing. It wasn’t all me—genetics played a huge role in this. My family history showed that we were always on the wrong side of the scale. My weight gain was so slow, that at first, I barely noticed it, that is until it became too late. And then I just had to do something about it.
And so started my visits to numerous dieticians but each one had a different solution but none of them were satisfactory. It always ended up the same way—I would lose a few kilograms and regain them just as quickly.
This got me to thinking and eventually steered me to the path that I finally chose—what is the science of weight loss? How does a body lose weight effectively? This led me to pursue bio-chemistry pertaining to fat loss with the aim to figure out how the human body works in terms of food. I mentored under some of the notable doctors in the US and from there, my true journey to fitness began.
I would hit the gym four days a week, for about 90 minutes each day. For two days a week, I would concentrate on lower body exercises, mainly legs and for the remaining two days I would perform upper body workouts. This helped break down fat faster with an elevated EPOC (Excessive Post Oxygen Consumption) effect. I would also do shoulder and chest exercises.
Since I didn’t want to exert too much, I would perform some simple cardio exercises at the gym which my joints and ligaments could take. After my weight training session, I would do cardio for around 20-30 minutes. My cardio routine also involved a lot of walking. I began by walking 10 minutes a day. This was also because I was unable to walk beyond 10 minutes. So, gradually when I began losing weight, I increased my cardio to around 45 minutes to an hour a day. All this while, I didn’t give up my weight training regime.
At the beginning, I gradually began taking carbs out of my diet. While on diet, I did not follow a fixed routine of breakfast, lunch or dinner and would eat food whenever I felt hungry.
My daily meals included eggs, avocados, a little bit of cheese, or small quantities of almond flour and macadamia nuts, a lot of green leafy veggies—around five to six cups, occasionally I would also have whey protein supplements (the zero carbohydrate version) and some yoghurt.
I am now 60 kg lighter in just one year and living my best life. My journey to fitness has given me a lot to think about and I wish to help people like me realise their capabilities.
Being a nutritional consultant wasn’t a profession by design for me. I was into manufacturing of industrial components before I got into this. After I lost a lot of weight, I felt I could help others. Also, people started seeking advice. For a while, I tried to balance my factory work and this, but within a year that became impossible. It was then that I decided to give this my complete attention.
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