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Celebrating Small Success

Discussion in 'Keep Fit & Maintain Shape' started by SGBV, Apr 18, 2023.

  1. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Life is hard for everyone, especially it is harder for women. The women in our parts of the world have to go through a lot to come out and shine in a patriarchal society. As if it is not enough, women go through menopause and in my case a surgical menopause to make it all worse.
    Life has been extremely hard since the past one year, but I see some light at the end of the tunnel; hence I am here to celebrate the small success together with you all.

    If you don't take the time to appreciate the small achievements, it could have a negative impact on motivation, attitude, and productivity. Without motivation, it can be difficult to continue working towards your big goal. Celebrating small wins triggers feelings of pride and a happiness.

    Here goes my weight loss story. I hope this can help motivate someone in need :)

    I have always been a chubby girl. As a kid, my chubbiness was celebrated, and my mom and grand mom fed me with cheese and butter to retain that chubby looks.
    As I grow older, I was called "gundu". In fact, I have lost a few pounds at school due to increased physical activities, yet I was called fat because my peers looked underweight.
    These comments did not bother me much, as I was always proud about the way I looked, and confident about myself.

    I grew thinner as I entered university. Some basic physical activities such as walking or playing outside made me shed several pounds when I was a teen. My metabolism was on fire that time, and I always had the fullest control over my body back then.

    The reason for my weight gain was partially due to my genes, and the rest was because of the wrong diet habits. Not just me, but the entire family loaded our stomachs with carbs and sugar, yet no one looked fat or had health issues. Eating a full plate of rice at least 2 times a day, and have a carb rich meal for the 3rd time plus lots of non-vegs as side dishes during all the 3 times and sugar filled tea/coffee at least twice a day used to be the typical Sri Lankan way of eating. The country's life expectancy is one of the highest in Asia; hence we never bothered to review our eating habits.

    I used to gain weight on and off... During both of my pregnancies, I gained some 15-18 kgs and shed them off within a year with no serious efforts.
    I could lose a considerable amount of weight if I try to control the portion of my plate or some simple physical exercise like walking or jumping to fit on my favorite dress for a wedding or party if I want that. So, I never bothered about my weight until very recently.

    Then came my health complication. I ended up undergoing a major surgery, which put me on a surgical menopause at the age of 40 last year.
    Initially I felt tired and exhausted after the surgery. Eating, especially craving for sugary stuff was my only way of recovering from the event.
    Hoping I would be able to shed weight to look good on Christmas, I started eating whatever I craved to soothe my body, which was going through a lot after the surgery.
    Sadly, I wasn't allowed to do exercises back then, and hence I hardly moved my body for the first few months post operation. Which resulted in gaining 15 kgs in 6 months.

    I realized the weight gain when I started shopping for Christmas in November, and wanted to start my usual diet/exercise regime as usual to shed weight to look good on Christmas eve.
    I walked as usual, cut down carbs, sugar, included veggies and green tea. Tried IF for a month and what not?
    But, by Christmas, I ended up gaining 2 more KGs despite of all my attempts to lose weight.
    Plus, my body started having negative relationship with food, and developed acidity complications due to long hrs of IF, stress, inflammation and sleeping disorder.
    Walking became a task, and I ended up crying in bed with painful legs :( if I tried simple physical activity.

    So, I was demotivated, and understood the fact that I have lost all my control over this body. It felt like my spirit was staying in someone else's body that time.

    Sleepless nights, stress, and depression made me gain 1 more KG in January, reaching up to 80.7 kgs, the all time highest weight in life time. With 165cm height I looked obese, especially bulging belly and arm fat. I complained the surgery and hormonal imbalance for the state, but never lost confidence over my body.

    In Feb, I attended a grand event at the Sri Lankan embassy here, where I was supposed to wear a Saree, but unfortunately none of my bouses fit my size then. So, I wore a Salwar instead and was misunderstood to be an Indian diplomat by the attendees.
    When I explained the reason, one of those female diplomats casually mentioned "This is why we should be watchful of what we eat as we age. Especially people like us can't find tailors in abroad to alter our saree blouses frequently". I felt her tone was more of accusing me of over eating for my weight gain. But in fact, I had stopped eating sugar, junk food, and reduced the carb intake and started exercising despite of the excruciating body pain that time but with no luck in weight loss. On the other hand, the lady was munching a piece of icing cake and was so proud about her weight as if it was all her hard work; hence commented my body/look. I felt bad :(

    I have been hearing such comments oflate, especially from family and friends despite of the fact that they all know what I went through, and what I am currently battling with.
    People body shame just like that. They don't even realize how it can affect the person who is in the receiving end.
    People have told me that I look like my mother's sister in our recent Christmas photo. Not to appreciate my mother's youthfulness, but to pinpoint how I looked old in that picture.

    They think, being over weight means over eating, laziness etc... and it became a tool for those jealous relatives to mock me these days. They compare myself to some lean relative and pity them for not eating much or working hard to indirectly hint I do the opposite to be on the bigger size. And many more unwanted advises to lose weight, else I will have to die soon :(

    Finally, it all started hurting me and I've realized that I've started loosing my self confidence with all this.

    That's when I reached out for help. I met an endocrinologist, who run a lot of blood and other tests to diagnose my health issues. Finally we understood the reason behind my weight gain and other problems. She supported me with medication to control the imbalance in my body.

    Vitamin D deficiency was one hidden reason which contributed to my weight gain, in addition to several other causes such as surgical menopause, slow metabolism, genetic conditions and post surgical pain medications to name a few.

    With Dr's advice, I joined a gym, appointed a personal trainer and received a personalized diet plan which was not very strict, but doable on a daily basis as part of a life style change. This was the best decision I've made in recent time. Spending on self care:)

    I totally avoided carbs at night, restricted the same in my breakfast and allowed portion controlled carb intake (rice) for lunch. Instead, increased my protein intake, veggies and fruits. Also took supplements like multi vitamin and fish oil.
    I also eliminated sugar and junk food in my daily intake.
    However I was allowed to consume them only when I could not avoid them entirely and also with reduced quantity. The more I eat out of the diet plan, the more my physical workout at the gym has to be followed. So I was always watchful of what I consumed. :)

    The workouts were much relaxed initially, but with time I started intense workouts 5 days a week. I walked to the gym to ensure daily walking. Drank a gallon of water.

    The first month did not show any results, except being tired, exhausted and in pain due to physical workout. But I did not gain any weights either. My trainer was there to encourage me during each mile stone.
    The second month, I've gotten used to the gym routine; hence less pain in the body as i started intense workout. Also, the diet seemed doable too. By end of second month I've lost 3 kgs :). That was the first shift in my weight since a very long time despite of trying everything under the sun to lose weight.

    The third month just passed quickly as I've become accustomed to the new routine of my life. I did not feel like doing anything special anymore.
    Yesterday, as the end of the 3rd month, my scale showed 73kgs. Meaning, I've lost more than 7 kgs now.
    I've already lost two inches in my waist and feeling a bit lighter. But the weight loss isn't visible to the outsiders yet.
    But the results gave me a new ray of hope, which motivated me to do much more to bring back my body to its original shape in 2 months time, by the time I pass the first year after hysterectomy surgery. I am hopeful that I can lose much more weight and bring back my original strength to the body despite of the state it is in right now. I already started feeling young :)

    I also feel so confident and proud about myself. I won't let anything take over this confidence from me ever again.

    Dear ladies, if I can do it with all these complications, you all can do it too :)
    At the age of 40, I've learned to be self conscious, and to spend on self care. It is totally worth it :)
    Your health is the biggest investment you make for your children. Being alive to take care of them till they reach adulthood and being there for then even after that is the biggest asset for the children. So, while investing for their education and marriage, do not forget to invest on your self care.

    40 is the age where you chose either to grow older or revise the clock and become the new 30. I chose the latter both physically and mentally :)
    Madhurima21, gknew and swarnamary like this.

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