In 2012, I was the biggest I have ever been. I was this 90 kilo (198 lbs/14 stones) person who I couldn’t recognise anymore. Not only had I changed physically; but every bit of me had changed – emotionally and in spirit I was a different person. I lacked self esteem, I lacked self confidence, I behaved much older than my age, I hid in the comfort of my food, the tents I wore for clothes and my constant self deprecating jokes. I was heavy in more ways than one.
The struggle to lose that weight is real. The weight in the physical sense as well as the emotional sense. I struggle even now. I have gained a dramatic 24 lbs (10 kilos) over the last year due to many reasons – this time a physical injury and some emotional issues. The cycle continues. I have re-committed to my health and the starting point is to drop this excess fat that I seem to be carrying. I have given myself 12 weeks to get there.
Here is what I have learnt from experience:
- Losing weight is a commitment – you have to feel it in every cell and have to be ready for it. It can’t be ‘maybe’, ‘not today’, ‘perhaps tomorrow’. Commit to yourself and do it. It’s my biggest failing. I fear it the most. Can I do this? I ask. Yet I remember I was there not so very long ago. If I could do it then, I can do it again. (I need to follow my own weight loss tips from that time I lost 30 kilos)
- It’s a family commitment – you can’t feed others junk and eat healthy yourself. The junk needs to disappear from your pantry, from the snack boxes, from the refrigerator, from everywhere. Just stop buying any thing can makes you feel guilty. I stop buying chocolates and ice creams for the kids. I know it’s only an excuse for my own indulgence.
- Exercise and Food go hand in hand: It is so critical to not just exercise but to also eat healthy. It is important to stay active – exercise in any form is important. Even a simple 20 minute walk can reduce our risk of lifestyle diseases. Calories need to be burnt on a daily basis. I learnt that when I skip exercise, no matter how healthy I eat, it starts showing on my body. The fat creeps back slowly.
- Get rid of fizzy drinks. Water is the key: I drink a lot of water. Hot. Cold. Water with lemon. Warm water with honey.It helps me stay hydrated, fills me up and also helps detox. I fully avoid energy drinks, water with sugar, aerated drinks.
- Get up each time you fall: I have fallen so many times that each time I fall, I want to stay there in the comfort of that feeling of nothingness forever. It’s such a struggle at that time. Every thing around me goes dark. The pain, the guilt, the challenges are real. I feel alone. I can’t bring myself to meet anyone, cannot motivate myself to go to the gym. I cope by keeping my head down and working working working and then indulge in secret snacking. It’s truly real. The struggle.
I have learnt that no matter how hard I try to let go, the commitment is a decision that I have to make to myself. I have to re-learn to give myself permission to be happy. To let go of all that does not serve me emotionally, spiritually and physically anymore. I have to learn to let go of my own fears; whatever they are.
I have to re-learn to accept that it is a real struggle. I/we have to BE that warrior that I am, that we are, and overcome that struggle with the only way we know. By owning it and by conquering it.
My story so far:
“A Ticking Time Bomb”.
That was the blunt description given the mounting problem of Type 2 Diabetes within the South Asian Diaspora community in the United Kingdom a few years ago.
According to research, immigrants to the UK from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other nations from South Asia are six times more likely than the indigenous white population to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
Whilst current evidence is inconclusive as to why British Asians are more susceptible to the disorder, medical experts have pointed to the twin evils of a diet high in carbohydrates and saturated fatty acids (all those chapattis and rice dishes) as well as alarmingly low levels of physical activity, especially among older South Asian women, as two of the most significant contributory factors to a problem that is certain to put a huge burden on families and the community at large.
Alarmingly, there is widespread ignorance about Type 2 Diabetes within the community, according to medical experts, which threatens the lives of thousands.
Mumbai-born, with ten amazing years in New Zealand, now North London-based marketing and advertising expert, Raga D’silva was among those ignorant masses.
The 46-year-old mother of twins, whose family had a history of Diabetes, was diagnosed with this illness in 2012. The news brought about a radical change in Raga and has inspired her to help others with Diabetes and raise awareness.
Raga is the Asian Ambassador for Diabetes UK.
Watch my media interviews for some simple tips.