My Weight Loss Story (Part 1) – 5 truths about weight loss

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This story is for all of you who are struggling to lose weight. Believe me, YOU CAN! This story is especially for all you mommies who are struggling to lose weight after delivering your bonny baby(s), who may now be at various stages of evolution – infants, toddlers, kids, teenagers & well, even full grown adults! For there are some universal truths:

#1. We all want to be back into shape – not like the hot actress or the slim neighbor. No, just as we were back then…

#2. We all need to feel great – how else do you cope up with children, family, house & a job.

 

#4. Now is always the best time! The faster you look & feel great, the longer you are likely to enjoy The New U

#5. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it! It’s always mind over matter & the one thing you have in control, is your mind.

After struggling for 10 years, I finally did it! I lost 25 kgs in 25 weeks! It was a path of self-discovery I totally enjoyed. I learnt dancing, swimming, yoga, running, tennis, all things I had long aspired to. I am encouraged to do even more. I feel super fit & happy. If I can do it, so can you…

Watch this space to know how I lost fat & got fit…

 

 

 

My Weight Loss Story (Part 2) – FIT to FAT

 

Yes. You read it right. Before I share my tips on how to lose fat & get fit, its vital to share my journey to getting FAT…

I am Pooja, a 33 year old Indian working mother of two. I am a BIG foodie – I dream, read, think, eat food. I also like to work-out (thank god). I was a fit 52 kgs. when I got married, 59 kgs. when I conceived (7 kgs. added over 7 merry years), 69 kgs. just before my 1st baby & 66 kgs. post my 1st baby!!

Shock #1 Baby out but weight not!!!!

I had gained 10 kgs., but only lost 3! The maths just didn’t work here…

 

Shock #2 Cute baby bump replaced by a deflated bag!

No, I didn’t expect a flat stomach, but no one prepared me for a deflated, de-shaped stomach either…

 

Shock #3 I fit only in my maternity clothes!

I may as well not have packed any clothes for hospital check out, the only thing that fit me was what I came in…

 

Shock #4 I continued to fit only in my maternity clothes even 6 months post-delivery! 

I finally accepted that, that was my size now & bought a new pair of jeans, shirts, stretchable (oh I would finally get back to shape) skirts, tops, dresses… Well a new wardrobe!

 

Shock #5 I am back to exercise but not to shape!

I am back to my 30 mts. pre-pregnancy Aerobics/Circuit regimen. Two years & only 2 kgs gone!

 

Shock #6 I eat what I did before, but I still look 6 months pregnant!

No more daily pregnancy ice-creams & no more pre-baby outings. Back to healthy home cooked food on week-days & indulgence over week-ends/outings, but only 2 kgs gone in 2 years!

 

Shock #7 Appearances matter!

Not to you, we all get comfortable in our skin, however extended…but well, our extended family doesn’t. The subtleties differ from direct & to your face – ‘what have you done to yourself?!’ to indirect gossip – ‘wonder what’s happened to her?!’ My defense – ‘Am managing a baby, a house, a full time job, exercising, eating right, what more can I do?!’ Overtime everyone accepts, except perhaps those who see you after ages & innocently remark – ‘Are you expecting?!’ My response ‘Oh! I just had a baby (errr… 2.5 years back).’

 

Shock #8 You can grow fatter, no matter how careful you are!

It’s called pregnancy 🙂 I was 65 kgs & happily pregnant again, only this time wiser. Ate healthy, indulged less; more fruits, less ice-creams; only walnuts/almonds, no raisins; Peaches/plums, no bananas; 1 week of pre-baby outings, not a month. Exercised more – 45 mts. of pre-natal exercises & 30 mts. walk. Result – 10 kgs up & at 75 kgs pre delivery but sure to lose it all this time, it was all after all baby related…

 

Shock #9 Out of hospital & once again, baby out, weight not!

Only 3 kgs lost, still weighing 72 kgs!

 

Shock #10 Despair! What was I to do now?!

It was déjà vu, same shocks, same tricks (back to pre-conceiving exercise & food), what if same result – only 2 kgs less in 2 more yrs & that would be a 70 kg me. Oh such despair…

 

Does the above despair sound familiar? If yes watch this space more.

 

 

My Weight Loss Story (Part 3) – FAT to FIT (Walk & Rock the Baby)

 

So how did I do it? By burning many more calories than I was consuming. No, unlike popular belief it doesn’t simply translate to eat less, exercise more, rather it is ERER (Eat Right Exercise Right). But 1st the story…

…So there I was, out of hospital 3 kgs down, weighing 73 kgs, Size 16!

 Phase 1

Duration: 15 days

Mothering my adorable babies & doing post natal exercises. Feeling better? Yes. Looking? No, just the old me. But it was too early…

+ Phase 2 (Walk & Rock the baby)

Duration: 3 months

Finally! Green signal for me (but not baby) to go out, so walking shoes on & I worked myself to a 30 mt brisk walk from a 5 mt pant over 15 days.

Finally! Green signal for baby! Such joy! Out came the pram & with baby in tow, I was ready to build it up to 1 & then 2 hrs. 1st couple of weeks were super – happy baby, worked up mommy (walking & strength training (you see pushing the pram needs strength)), nearing 45 mts now & then just as we were settling on the drill, the baby protests began…

Hug me! No problem, out came the baby carrier. Strength & cardio!

Am sleepy! No problem, rocking a baby is strength, obliques, cardio all combined!

Am hungry! Oh we need to sprint home!

After 1 month, we finally had our system all figured out-

Baby fed, pram out, 5 mts warm up in pram, 25 mts strength & cardio in carrier, 15 mts circuit in rocking baby to sleep, 2 mts cool down with sleeping baby in pram & mommy ready to walk & talk with her girl-friends, until the baby is up again & it’s time to sprint before hunger strikes & wailing starts….

We did this drill for 3 months, but the damn weighing scale would not move!! Unbelievable!

Lesson 1: Walking wasn’t working for me

3.5 months gone, 1.5 hr walk & 30 minute post natal exercises – no impact on weight! I only had another 3-6 months to get into shape; I had plans to get back to more than home, babies, work-out. Oh! Such despair!

Recommendations:

  1. Jane Fonda’s Pregnancy, Birth & Recovery for pre & post natal DVD available online: <a href=“http://www.flipkart.com/jane-fonda-pregnancy-birth-recovery/p/itmdnayzmykjxv4k?pid=AVMCPGMZFG3GSTGM&affid=pooja0402”>Buy Jane Fonda </a>
  2. Free post natal exercise videos on JoGoApp channel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLi0p6ZwcJMWerDewz5I2s-0Af8VxmFXRO

 

My Weight Loss Story (Part 4) – Change the Status Quo!

 

So, walking & rocking the baby was not helping me lose. Making me feel better? Oh yes. Looking? No. Still the old me. 3.5 months gone & no change on the scale!

Then, the Eureka moment happened – ‘I have to change the status quo!’

Eureka #1 Output cannot change if input doesn’t. You will not be TheNewU, if you keep following old tricks (walking was my old trick)! You have to change status quo.

Eureka #2 Change does not happen in a day. It takes days, weeks, months, sometimes years, but it WILL happen. Just be at it!

Eureka #3 Change takes courage, change takes determination. Push your limits everyday because in the end will emerge TheNewU – stronger, slimmer, fitter 

In retrospect, nothing Eureka about the above but sometimes the obvious eludes…

And over the next 25 weeks, by design & by destiny my tricks changed & so did I…

My Weight Loss Story (Part 5) – Zumba (The Dance Party!)

+ Phase 3 (Zumba – the dance party)

Tough times call for tough measures & mine came in the form of Zumba! For the uninitiated, Zumba is like a dance party with all dance forms you have been dying to learn (salsa, tango, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, hip hop, tango), without the need of a partner! You can also add your personal favourites – jazz, reggae, bollywood, rock & roll, anything that makes you move.

In my case it was even better, late evening, right next door, so I could put kids to sleep, get out, let my hair down & be back just in case.

Oh! How I loved those 2 hours of the week. I ached like crazy after each session but simply loved each bit. And finally the results began to show. I lost 2 kgs in 1 month! Finally, the curse was broken! Just as I was beginning to see the light of day, my instructor went on an unexpected 1 month long leave to return only for another 2 months & then the Zumba party was called off again.. such a bummer it was… but then I discovered a permanent solution – Zumba on YouTube. I could now do Zumba @ home. Dance & let my hair down anytime! And really, I did. Morning, noon, evening, even at night- when kids were in bed & hubby out of town for work & the day had gone by without a work-out, I would slip my dancing shoes on & dance with Linda (my favourite Zumba instructor on YouTube). Little crazy, maybe, but try it, you may just love it too 🙂

Lesson 2: Zumba worked for me. I love dancing, so I was all endorphins & energy pre, during, post the sessions. I learnt salsa, my lifelong dream & a whole host of other great dance forms. I did jhatkas & matkas unabashedly on Bollywood numbers. I also lost inches & weight. The best part about Zumba is that you have to move every part of your body, so it’s cardio, chest, hips, lunges, crunches, obliques, upper body, lower body, everything that can move, must. And since it’s to some great music, you feel like you are partying instead of working out.

Wanna dance? I have just the thing for you – The Zumba playlist on JoGoApp channel on YouTube, made especially for you.

If you have 5 minutes or 50. If you are a beginner or a pro. If you like salsa or bhangra. If you prefer international music or latin, you are sure to find something for you.

If its too hot to run & too cold to swim. If its too washed out to do anything. Just clear some space @ home & party with Zumba.

If you hate working out, ditch the work-out, join the Zumba party!

Check out Zumba @JoGoApp channel on YouTube and lose weight fast, the fun way: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLi0p6ZwcJMWf1hpql8mFbRspMyWyLl7jv

If you have a Smart TV, Apple TV even better, you can stream this right off the big (home) screen; Else the tablets (iPAD etc.) or even the good old laptop/desktop will do. You may find it a little tough to follow the steps the 1st few times, but believe me, by the 3rd/4th time, you won’t even need to look on.

So just get up & dance!

My Weight Loss Story (Part 6) – Run? Really?!

 

+ Phase 4 (Run @ the Gym)

In an earlier blog, I mentioned, how by destiny & by design my tricks changed & so did I. Well, the transition from walking to running happened by chance & that too at a place I usually run away from – the Gym! You see, I am an outdoor person. Even while working-out @ home, I need doors/windows open to let the fresh air in, so, to be locked up in a cold basement with machines & TV as my company was really not my thing, but then destiny had some other designs- Suddenly, my walking gang got busy & if you get used to company, walking alone is never the same. A day or two manageable, but every day for a month can be a real drag! And then came January- too cold, not for me, for my baby & my maid, and then it began to rain- cold & rain… But then I am not one to give up- when faced with a challenge my instinct is to find a solution, I guess 7 years of working @ a start-up does that to you, so when, the weather gods closed the door on me, another door opened, the Gym, right in my apartment complex. Actually, the door had opened 7 years back (when we moved in) but I only saw it then. So, while kids played snugly at home, I was off, albeit reluctantly, to the gym.

At the gym, I only had the instructor for company. Best time to ask the million dollar question – how do I lose weight?!!!! Pat came the reply – RUN! I was bamboozled! I had not run since school. I could walk for hours at a stretch but run, well not even for 2 sec. Well, wait did I even know how to run?! I guess the trainer read my face, since he asked – can you walk? Oh yes! Fast? Yes. Ok, so walk for 2 mts @ 6km/hr & run for 1 mt @ 7.5km/hr & do that drill for 20 mts, keep increasing the running duration & lowering the walking one, every week over next 4 weeks. Well, I could try that. There was, after all no one that day @ the gym to laugh at me, if I looked like a fool or worse if I stumbled & fell, so I ran- 2 mt brisk walk & 1 mt run. Wow! I CAN run! Pant & puff! But I CAN run! The knee really hurts, but I CAN run!!! I think I am gonna die, but hey I can run! It was tough but very liberating. And in 2 weeks I could actually do the drill without feeling like it was gonna kill me. To top it all, I lost 2 kgs in 2 weeks! Unbelievable! Running on the tread-mill, was after all not such a bad thing…But then, my son started tennis & I had to do the drop/pick drill. Alas! No more running @ the Gym. Just as I was waging a winning war against my weight it was time to beat the retreat… 

Lesson 3: Running was a super weapon against weight for me, but I had to literally shake & rattle myself out of my comfort zone to discover it. Perhaps when the weight does not budge, its best to jolt & shock it!

My Weight Loss Story (Part 7) – Run! Its Fun!

 

 

+ Phase 5 (Run Outdoors)

As mentioned (in my earlier blog), I had to beat the retreat (from running @ the Gym), since I had to do the tennis run for my son, but I was determined to find a new (battle) ground to resume the war against my weight. And I did! A park, 5 mts walk from the tennis court- beautiful & empty 🙂 So, in peace, I re-started my 2 mt walk +1 mt run drill, for 30 mts, on the jogging track, at a place I love – the great outdoors 🙂

I could take in the fresh air, feel the wind in my hair, soak in the greenery, hear the rhythmic sound of my breath & rejoice at the sound of my heart pounding @ the fat. Perfect! But, what was that excruciating pain in the knee?! I had felt some while running @ the treadmill, but this was more. I shrugged it off, thinking it would pass, just as the puffing/panting/nearly dying feeling had when I had started to run. By the 2nd week the pain was unbearable. I stopped, lest I was stuck with an injury!

And then, I met a runner friend who advised me to change my shoes (get running ones), change the surface (garden not concrete) & get knee support. I did! It worked! And then, there was no looking back. I built up the tempo slowly but steadily, till I was running 40 mt straight, by the 3rd month. I braved icy winds to run & it was exhilarating to beat the cold with the run. I would enter the park looking like an Eskimo & emerge looking like I had been in the Bahamas. The season changed from icy winters to spring & so did the company- I now had a bunch of carefree urchins to run along with & to cheer me on & my 9 month old bonny baby to babble/smile at the completion of every victorious round. It got better – I lost 1kg every week! But then, the weather changed again – too hot for my son to play tennis & for me to run, so we bid adieu then, with a promise to return. And yes, the war had nearly been won- I had lost 12 kgs in 4 mths!

Lesson 4: I lost weight with running & gained mental & physical strength. Am so glad I shocked myself out of my comfort zone that 1st time on the treadmill.

My Weight Loss Story (Part 8) – Mission Abs

+ Phase 6 (Abs)

Thanks to running & Zumba, I was shredding from all over, except the stomach… 

While, the stomach has always been my problem area, pregnancy added a whole new dimension (& multiple layers) to it. I mentioned a big deflated, de-shaped bag, well it was still all that, but, thank god, with all the working out, a much smaller one. Then, began ‘Mission Abs’ – post natal exercises (that focused on body parts that go out of shape post pregnancy, which is pretty much all :)) substituted with exclusive ab workout. After belly burning cardio, it was abs time. Thanks to YouTube, I did get to do different ab exercises every single day of the 5 day work-out week for 5 months at a stretch & my stomach, slowly but surely began to at least look like one but it’s still a long haul, and by now, I am convinced that my tummy, not only has a character of its own, which visibly stands out, but also a mind of its own & it will take it’s own sweet time to settle back. Or maybe, since it took 18 months (9+9, since I have two kids), it will take that long to get back to shape & on my part, I still plan to do my crunches, leg lifts, planks, burpees, twists, turns & whatever else it takes, with a hope that the belly will budge someday…

Lesson 5 : Trouble zones need intensive (& disproportionate effort & time). They do get in shape but painfully slowly. One has to be at it & finally, what the heck, one has to have some problem areas, else what’s the fun 🙂