RSS

Category Archives: Diabetes

I Stopped Myself From Stopping Myself

I Stopped Myself From Stopping Myself

Drops fell. Slowly. From the corner of my eyes. I tried to keep a straight face. Tried to focus on the meeting I was at. But the tears just kept flowing. I had lost control –  over my pain. Finally, it had caught up with me. I stopped myself from stopping myself. I let it flow. Slowly. And then it gushed out. I was scared of being judged. But in that moment, I had no control.  And it was okay. I felt safe. I was amongst those who loved me. Those who didn’t judge me. Those who did not question me. They just held my hand and let me be.

Darkness had presented itself in many ways. The darkness of actions, reactions, pain, frustration, emotions that were mine, yet no longer mine. I had allowed myself to become this person I wasn’t even aware of. In my heart, I knew my own role in the darkness that I had created for me. That darkness was killing me.

It was a jolt. But it was a lesson

It was time to get up, slowly. It was time to let things go. It was time to stop questioning. It was time to stop forcing. It was time to stop asking. It was time to stop feeling. It was time to look up; accept what it was and it was time to stand back up again. It was time to stop. It was time to start.

As I walked around the waterfront, at my most favourite part of the world – the Bandstand area in Bandra, Mumbai; suddenly it all made sense. Life doesn’t have to be painful. It doesn’t need to be drama.  Neither become one, nor be a participant.

There is so much to learn from the sea. The waves are a perfect example of how life can be a roller coaster, carrying with itself things that don’t even belong to it.Yet it can remain calm, distant and committed.  There is trash and there is treasure. The waves simply accept it, and when it gets too much, it leaves the extras ashore. But the waves don’t stop. They continue on their path. Their role is to keep the current flowing. It provides a constant sense of movement taking everything in its stride. The waves also learnt their lesson each time.

That wave was my lesson. The waves do not force themselves on anyone, nor do they expect to be questioned. I had done the opposite and there was a price to pay for it. I was not defeated. I had learnt. It taught me to just go with the flow. It taught me not to hold on to anything. There are many who will go on a journey with me. Many will throw things into my being. Many will not understand my purpose. Some will bring light. Some will enhance the darkness. I need to learn and grow. I need to keep going. Only allow those whose journey matched mine and are willing to commit to that journey. Not run away when it doesn’t suit them anymore. The journey will continue regardless. The purpose will remain. Authenticity will remain. Lessons will be learnt.

Darkness will bring in the light. And the light will bring magic to the waves.

The magic that the light brings to be waves needs to be felt again. That light is inside of me. And that light is magical.

“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.

Follow me on FB.

Pic courtesy: Online

Advertisements
 
 

Life is like the flowing River

Life is like the flowing River

Ganges. The beautiful flowing river. The river is personified as the Goddess Ganga. I heard someone refer to it as ‘Ganga Ma” (Mother). I had the privilege of standing on the banks of the river Ganga earlier this week in Rishikesh, dipping my feet in her holiness, feeling the force of her flow and suddenly so much happened within me.

Catharsis. That’s what I felt.

I struggle within myself. There are emotions that have been suppressed over childhood, that at times seek solace. They come out and as an adult it becomes harder to deal with it, as we are supposed to be in charge of our emotions. So, the suppression continues. Emotional padding is done. Band-aids put in place, until it re-surfaces. It’s a cycle. Some emotional set back can trigger a reaction and then the cycle continues. It’s a tough place at times. So, I struggle, as I know many do.

So, there in that moment, as I saw the river flow it occurred to me how selfless the river was. It just flowed. It took with it all that flowed with it – all that was dropped into it.

Ganga Ma, the flowing river taught me lessons:

  • She is powerful. She knows her strength. Be like her.
  • She goes with the flow. Be like her. Just flow. Just be.
  • She takes everything in her stride and drops some things along the way. So can I.
  • Some stay part of the way, some will stay the course. Remember that all are not meant to be on the journey together forever.
  • She goes through ups and downs, yet remained focussed on her journey. Never faltering. So, there is a lesson in it.
  • Her destination was controlled by so many – dams, canals, bridges, but the journey was her real gift. That’s so true for all of us. Enjoy the journey.
  • She showed love and she showed her anger  – both felt by those who understood her. It was okay to show emotions but only to those who are part of the journey and care.
  • Most of all she showed me how to cleanse – the mind, the body and the soul, and to keep growing. Every moment. Every day.
  • She taught me to give selflessly. Without expectations. Unconditionally.

I stood there, humbled, hands folded, eyes closed, in prayer. Just listening to her flow. Feeling her energy within me. Wanting to capture that moment inside me so I could carry it beyond that evening.

I felt it was time to cleanse myself. Of my old baggages. Leaving behind those that needed to get off that flowing river. Carrying along new souls as part of the journey. Just being. Just loving. Just living.

Catharsis. Release. Peace. Seeking comfort within. Food  and substance was no longer my comfort. I had found my peace. My release. 

“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.

Follow me on FB.

Pic courtesy: Nicola Fenton.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 13, 2016 in Diabetes, Energy, Motivation

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Strong Women Cry

Strong Women Cry

I was brought up to believe that if you are strong, you should not cry. Maybe that lesson was first taught to me when at the age of six,  I saw my father die. Perhaps the family felt it was the best way to teach me to deal with pain. Ever since, no matter how hard life was, I never allowed myself to cry. My pain stayed within. I remember my dear mother repeatedly saying to all “she is very strong, she never cries”. And the more I heard her say that, the stronger I stayed for her.

It has taken me 46 years to realise what a load of crap this really is. Strong woman must cry. Because tears are a way of washing away our pain and hurt, isn’t it. 

We are human. We feel all kinds of emotions. Hurt, pain, anger, jealousy, insecurity, happiness, frustration and regardless of what these emotions are, we are best when we allow them to be felt. Anything in excess is bad and we have to learn to manage it, but curbing them is not truly being.

We spend our life trying to get rid of negative emotions that are harmful to our overall well-being. Jealousy, insecurity, anger these are all emotions that stem out of fear. Our fear of losing. Our fear of failure. When we feel these emotions, we must allow it to to be felt and release it, otherwise they fester inside us. These emotions re-appear when exposed. Have you been there? I have been there many times. I suppress these emotions by “distracting” myself. Food, drinking, other distractions — are my typical way of coping.

Often when one is on an emotional low, we hear our well wishers say “find a distraction’ and “it will pass”. I say it no to this solution. We need to “feel it to heal it”. We need to take our time to feel whatever that negative emotion is, accept it, understand it, understand the reasons for that emotion, why is it getting to us. Feel it fully. And then release it. In releasing it, we allow that pain to go away permanently. What it leaves behind is not pain, or emptiness. What it leaves behind is an understanding of that feeling. Healing only happens then.

I have been emotionally very low the past few months. I allowed myself to make poor decisions and that’s ok, it was a choice I made. In making those choices, I found joy as well. However, that also caused a lot of emotional turmoil. Some very good days, and extremely low days. The low days became so painful that often I would end up finding ‘distractions’. It only occurred to me lately that ’emotional lows’ are actually our hearts way of waking us up and saying ‘hey, please deal with this, it’s causing me pain’. And the more we run away from it, the more it returns because it’s not been dealt with. And it only get’s worse.

This time I decided that enough was enough. Each time I run away from pain, and don’t deal with it, it comes back with a greater force and since the lessons are not learnt, the situations that allow me to make poor choices continue.  (and hey, no one else causes us pain, so no ‘karma is not a bitch’. We cause ourselves pain with our choices. It’s another thing that we like to find someone else to blame, but seriously our hurts and pains are caused only by our own choices).

So here is what I intend to do:

  • sit quietly and feel the emotion (anger, hurt, pain, whatever that is)
  • understand and reflect on why that happened, and what made me feel that emotion
  • understand my part in it, and what choices I made
  • reflect and allow the pain to be felt
  • find ways of dealing with the pain so that it does not re-surface
  • let it go. let the fears, the hurt, the anger, the pain of that situation go
  • Accept it fully
  • Move on

And CRY. It is important to cry. I can count on my fingers the number of times I have cried.  I am still not there. Today I wanted to cry and as the tears welled up, I could hear my dear mum’s voice “you are so strong, you never cry” and I stopped myself.

Now I allow myself a few tears every now and again – I am a strong woman and I cry.

Be a strong woman, Cry when you need to.

(Dedicated to my dear mother, on her birthday. I love you and I miss you. We are both strong women and I continue to live through you).

“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.

 

The Struggle to lose weight is Real

The Struggle to lose weight is Real

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 28, 2016 in Diabetes, Exercise, Motivation, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

So, you think you want to lose weight?

So, you think you want to lose weight?

It must be New Year my head said, when at the beginning of this week I had an almost “auto-like” feeling transmitted to me – time to lose it. I have lost many things this year, but the weight. That stayed :-). 

May be I tried too hard, but perhaps I tried all the wrong things. May be that was the problem – I “tried” to lose weight.

Losing weight is causing me to lose my mind, nearly. I seem to be in this state of absolute weightlessness when it comes to losing weight. Things I tell myself when I am ‘not’ in that frame of mind:

  • I will start tomorrow. So today, let me binge. After all tomorrow I have to give it all up.
  • Just one – That one chocolate, one biscuit, one glass of wine, that one …  is not going to cause me to gain weight. After the first one, it stops to matter any way.
  • I have worked so hard this week, I have earned this extra dessert, or two, or three .
  • I am so sad today, my close FB friend lost her close FB’s friends contact details. I need to drown my sorrows on her behalf. Let’s drink?
  • Today was the best day of my life – I nearly won an award (I was nearly shortlisted, so let’s celebrate today). Chocolates, ice creams, wine, and even a late night. Let me sleep only 2 hours, so I can then sleep through the entire day tomorrow and skip breakfast and lunch

Then one morning I decide this is it and go for it. I have endless days and evenings  at the gym –  I give up alcohol, my favourite ice creams, skip bread, white rice, butter; all that which I am told is bad food, high calorie stuff that causes me to get that extra tyre. I do it religiously.

Then suddenly one day I wake up with an excuse. No matter how hard I try, I SLIP. This slip is more slithery than the banana slip, because you can stay down for days without realising it.

It’s a scary place to be, because this kind of slip brings in many other emotional issues as well. Guilt, shame, failure, embarrassment, self loathing, low self esteem, and fear. Huge fear of failing.

So, you think you are are ready to lose weight? Think again. And think very carefully. Because it is not an easy path. It is not that hard either. But it will take every bit of you to stick to your promise to yourself. You will be faced with the biggest demons ‘your excuses”.

Weight loss requires one thing, and only one key thing. Forget all the rest. Forget what you read earlier, what someone told you, what even I said earlier.

The only thing you need if you really want to lose it, is COMMITMENT. Total commitment to yourself. And if you can do that, you  are ready to lose it. Let’s go for it? Together? Come join me … And this time, it will be the weight that we will lose. 

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 45-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 interviews  for some simple tips. 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 6, 2016 in Diabetes, Diet, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

AM I WILLING TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH MYSELF?

AM I WILLING TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH MYSELF?

Am I willing to have a relationship with myself?

That’s a question I ask myself often. It may sound silly and I can see you thinking, ‘God help me, for being with me‘ LOL, but jokes apart, seriously, have you ever considered committing to yourself in that way? In a way you commit to your relationships? In a way that you are with your own partners.

I am not commitment-phobic, but I definitely need to  learn to fully commit. I fear:

1. Taking the first step

 2: How to keep the fire burning

Both are are equally tough barriers to break. For the longest time, I found myself running away from taking that first step. I knew that taking the first step meant committing. Commitment means discipline, focus, determination, giving up things you love for a while at least, being more responsible about the choices one makes, and so on. That is truly a tough one. It’s like getting into a relationship with yourself.  And telling yourself, you are committed to you. Then following through with that commitment. It is not easy. I have let myself down so many times, that I feared that commitment.

I eventually took the first step, and stuck with it for a long time. I dropped a few sizes, my confidence came back  and more so, I regained my health. Then I lost the most dear person in my life, my mother. I went back into a hole. It’s like I divorced myself. I decided I was going to self-sabotage to deal through the pain. Slowly, the weight and the dysfunctions returned. The same old patterns re-surfaced. Poor choices began to make their way back in. My divorced self decided to let go of the relationship with me.

Then I re-committed. And every now and again I falter. I give in to temptations. I hurt – I eat. I feel pain – I drink. I feel tired – I eat. I feel upsetI skip exercise and get into my duvet. And that pattern continues.

Yet, taking that first step has its own excitement. It’s new, it’s fun. It’s euphoric. You are getting to know your own body, your patterns, your own inner self better. You wake up each morning and decide that it will be your day.  Until…one day, the desire, the motivation diminishes. The excitement of the new-ness goes. The excuses start creeping back in. Every thing starts being an effort.

That’s the barrier that I need to break is to stay motivated long after the excitement of committing to something new has diminished.  Just like how it can get in a relationship. How does one stay motivated?

By taking the Vows and staying committed.

So, I am making FIVE vows to me:

Vow 1: I shall change my perspective of looking at change.

I am committing to my own self growth, for my good, and having a relationship with myself so I can live a longer, healthier life. That in itself should be enough motivation.

Vow 2: I shall re-tune my thinking

No one is asking me to give up on food and spirits, or whatever keeps me excited. It’s not a punishment, it’s a lifestyle. Make small changes for food choices and add exercise. Be consistent and do it every day.

Vow 3:I shall only be amongst like-minded people

This is the biggest asset that one can build. When people are on a journey together, they won’t ever tell you ‘one last drink’, or ‘have this for me’, or ‘come on, it’s only for a day’. They will support you, understand your ups and downs, and still be with you. That’s why I choose to be around you positive people.

Vow 4: I shall stay away from negativity

I will be amongst those who love me and  are willing to share in my journey. Negativity sucks energy. There are many out there happily waiting to  inject their negativity into me. I am staying away from it. I don’t deserve it and I don’t need it in my life.

Vow 5: I shall learn to love myself unconditionally 

This to me is the most critical vow. When we love ourselves (obviously in a functional way),we know the right choices to make. Food, body, mind, spirit, all aspects. The motivation will come on its own.I vow to love myself unconditionally. I may not be easy to live with, and will have my good days and bad, but hey, if I don’t love myself, who else will?

The barriers will break only by remembering that we can control our mind. That’s where it is all stored. The motivation. Come, let’s continue on this journey, together.

Follow me on : Facebook

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 45-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.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

THE SUN IS WITHIN US – SO IS THE CLOUD

THE SUN IS WITHIN US –  SO IS THE CLOUD

Today is a beautiful day outside, here in the London. The sun is shining, bringing with it the warmth in the cool breeze. I can hear the sounds of the birds in the distance, happy laughter around me, people with happy looks on their faces. Even my cat is happy today.

Weather plays such an important role in our lives – yet, today I feel edgy. The clouds are around; and the sun doesn’t seem to take away the minor speckles of cloud that seem to have gathered in my soul.

Maybe it’s simply because I am like my mum – when everyone felt cold, she felt warm, and when the whole world celebrated the sun, she would ask for duvets!!! I am ‘ULTA PULTA” (Upside down perhaps)!

I am sure this is not unique to me. There are many like me.  In my younger days, I have beat myself over it, forced myself to get over the feeling,  indulged in dysfunctional behaviour – by making poor choices in food (comfort food) and not looking after myself, or simply not getting out of the duvet. Today, I am doing no such thing. I am allowing the feelings to be felt, so I can make peace with whatever it is and allow it to move through me.

Today, I have channeled this energy into some productive stuff, like (and please take that grin off your face):

– cleaned the house like five times already (I can still see a speck of dust on the kitchen table – oh well)

– kneaded that dough like you cannot imagine (some one is going to get the best rotis today)

– listened to my favourite tunes (Dido is still my favourite and Sufiana continues to fill my soul with emotions)

– chatted with a friend  about simple things in life (thank you)

– Helped edit two very important articles for work (words seem to flow better during such times – hmmm – may be I should take this up as a full time job)

But, what I am craving is ME time. A  WALK in the sun!! That’s what I am going to do today. Going to go away into myself, into the woods and hang out with me. Be with the birds that are singing. Feel the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the breeze, the beauty of nature – and watch people and feel their happiness.

Until then, remember the sun is within us, so is the cloud. Both form a part of our lives – we have to learn to manage and channel them well, so the sun can continue to shine for us. 

This is what gives me hope, that I no longer crave ‘food’ or a ‘drink’ when I go within. I can see myself bouncing back. I can visualise :

– playing bollywood music tonight

– dancing whilst I am cooking

– giggles with family as I give them another round of mum’s food made with love (and pretend its the tastiest meal they have had).

The sun will keep shining and wait for me, I have no doubt. I can already see it through my cloud ….

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Diabetes, Motivation

 

Tags: , ,

The Magic of Weight Loss – it’s pure science

The Magic of Weight Loss – it’s pure science

Did you take a magic pill?

You have no idea, how many people I meet, talk to, communicate with, tell me how lucky I am to lose this weight. They keep asking if I took some special pill for it, or tried some special ‘diet’. Some call me ‘lucky’.  I smile and thank them all for their kind words. But seriously, in my head I think “lucky my ass”. If hard work is luck, then yes, I am very lucky. It almost feels as if people believe that those like me who lose weight, are illusionists. They eat some magic potions, and behold one day, wake up smaller, just as one day we woke up fat.

Unfortunately, luck has nothing to do with weight loss. Just as it had nothing to do with weight gain. Laziness plays a big role in gaining weight (of course there are those who are afflicted by very painful illnesses, and have medical conditions and just cannot exercise), we start calling it ‘lifestyle’ issues. Hard work plays a major role in losing it, simply!

It’s pure science though.  Energy in, Energy out. We can’t put in so much into our bodies and not find ways of burning some of it. It will stay in our bodies in the form of fat. (Very simply put). Nothing to do with magic.I was eating way too much. I made this discovery when I started logging my food. I would honestly think I wasn’t eating much. My meal portions were really small. One piece of bread (roti bread), or a small portion of rice, with simple lentils and salad was my regular meal. Honestly, that was it. Then how did I gain the weight?

(Join the amazing group of women who are taking on the 12 weeks Use it 2 Lose it Challenge. Click here >>>>)
What I did not account for was all that I ate in-between my very small portions – the two biscuits I dunked into my coffee each morning, the post breakfast snack at the office, the post lunch snack, the potato chips pre-dinner, the couple of whiskeys with tandoori chicken, and then the yummy ice cream, or chocolate that followed my very small dinner. Oh, and if I felt very happy that night, and if I was distracted with some exciting ‘food’ show on television (thank you Masterchef), I would inadvertently get at least 2 slices of bread pan toasted with enough butter for a week.

In my mind, I was eating about 1200-1500 calories a day, which is the recommended calorie intake for women my age. However, when I did finally log in my food intake on www.myfitnesspal.com (a free tool to log in food, drink and exercise) I was beyond shocked!!! I was eating for at least 2 women, and some days for three. No wonder I was the size of a house (a proper 3-bedroom one at that -:))

To lose weight, I realised all I had to do is simply eat for one person. Eat right kind of food. You cannot plan to eat for one person and eat a horse. You got to eat right. Decide your meals for next day a day/week in advance. Plan, plan, plan. Most of us don’t know how many calories we intake in each meal. Use free tools such as www.myfitnesspal.com.
Divide your meals into (whatever works for you):
– breakfast
– morning snack
– lunch
– afternoon snack
– evening meal

When I started eating right, some days I struggled with even consuming 1200 calories a day. When I was eating ‘whatever’ came my way – I was eating upto 4000-5000 calories a day.

It’s simple science. None of us really need to get into specifics of that. What we need to simply remember is consuming our recommended calorie intake every day, exercising every day (any form of exercise is fine) and leading a good lifestyle (drinking plenty of water, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep) will have a huge impact on our health. Staying HAPPY is very critical. I learnt that I am an emotional eater. I eat when I feel low. Now I substitute that with exercise and other forms of activity (I have added running, walking, strength training, weights. There is much more I want to add – hot yoga, aerobics, dancing, swimming……)

Bring the magic to your lives – eat well, exercise! Don’t be secret eaters, as I was.

Let’s not pretend that our weight is just coming on its own. Let’s take ownership, so we can change it, so we can get healthier.

I challenge you to log in your food today on www.myfitnesspal.com. Log in every morsel, every drink, coke, pepsi, sprite, every thing…and then check how many calories you actually take in. Then calculate how many calories you really burn each day. The answers will come. It’s simple science. Not magic. But losing weight can be magical, as I have found out!

(For me focusing on changing my habits for long term lifestyle changes has worked – that has helped me lose weight and keep it off).

 

Tags: ,

12 weeks – ‘Use it to Lose it’ Challenge

12 weeks – ‘Use it to Lose it’ Challenge

I am re-sharing this post from last year, with minor edits for us to take on this challenge again. Yay girls, let’s do this.

Thank you for joining me in my journey. Again, just to remind you all, I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist.  This is not a diet nor a weight loss programme. I will simply share what worked for me and what I intend to do, to reclaim health, re-tune my habits/lifestyle, and in turn lose the excess fat and get fit again. This is intended to support those who need that first step to jump start the change, and to also support each other during the next 12 weeks. 

Join our group, click here>>>> Use it to Lose it with Raga (a closed door group only for women.

Do remember,  we all are at different stages in our lives – so although we are embarking on this part of our journey together, there are many factors that will determine the results.  So, no comparing. No cheating. No excuses. We will do it our way. I hope we all stay the course and make this work – whatever our individual goal. 

One thing works universally for all – commitment. That is the key. It wont’ be easy, but it won’t be hard either. We will focus on re-tuning our thinking, making better food choices, adding activity to our daily lives and supporting each other to stay motivated. 

Key is to work together and keep each other motivated, positively. 

STOP THE EXCUSES PLEASE (This applies to me too) :

I AM TOO OLD: I was 42 when I first lost nearly 30 kilos and beat diabetes, liver diseases, kidney ailments and host of other imbalances my poor lifestyle had created. I did it through pure commitment. I found my age to be a major strength. My commitment levels are much stronger now. 

I RUN AROUND ALL DAY AND YET I GAIN WEIGHT: Well, true, but that is not exercise love. Don’t assume or be in denial about activity. Set time aside each day for exercise in any form you are able to. For those with sedentary lifestyles, this is an absolute must.  For those with active lifestyles, change the routine, push harder. 

I HARDLY EAT ANYTHING: You do love, you do.  There are some of us who have a regular high calorie, high fat diet. Some of us eat small meals, but snack a lot in-between meals, whereas some prefer smaller meals but will eat large portions of dessert. That’s how we get fat.It doesn’t just happen.  Can we stop being in denial and don’t let yourself fall into a trap of ‘denial’. Remember, every morsel counts – stop yourself from eating that last piece of pizza, toast, snack from your kids, partners plate. 

IT’S NOW ABOUT THE WEIGHT, IT IS ABOUT THE FAT: Let’s stop dwelling on this whole weight loss nonsense. Let’s focus on shedding that fat, losing those extra inches. We don’t all need to have amazing gym bodies. We need to have less fat in our bodies so we can be healthy and stay alive fully. Not on meds, not on insulin. But stay high on life. 

WHAT WORKED FOR ME:

1.Re-tune the way I thought about food.  We are not scrap yards – so why eat junk food? Seriously, as much as we love our fast food, there are better options available. I will avoid white bread, rice, noodles, pasta (unless whole wheat), sugar, dessert, carbs and sweets are out for me. 

2.Eat 6 small meals per day: I divide my day into 6 blocks: Morning, Mid morning, Afternoon, Mid afternoon, Evening and Night and plan my meals accordingly. I eat frequently but make healthy choices. For snacks its mostly nuts, fruit, raisins, dry fruit. I do not indulge in cereal bars or anything that is processed – it has high sugar content that has its own impact. 

2. Make small changes: 

  • Did you know plates can have a huge role in our food portions? for instance, using a smaller plate helps with portion size (even if you fill it up, it is better than filling up a large plate with food), research shows that using coloured plates verses white plates can help with portion sizes. Avoid second helpings.
  • Diet coke? Aerated drinks/Energy drinks: These are all excess sugar we don’t need. Junk it. Drink plenty of water (nimbu pani). During my own journey I used to drink 10-12 glasses a day. Helps with detox, makes you less hungry and is extremely useful for digestion.
  • Plan weekly menu :I will plan my menu a week in advance, so I have no excuse to eat junk.
  • Maintain a Food/Drink/Activity Diary: I joined MFT (www.myfitnesspal.com) a free online diary to log in my food/drinks/activity and manage my calorie intake. You can find me there. My online name is ‘Raaless’. Happy to help you online when you log in as well.
  • Add Walk walk walk to your day:  I bought myself a pedometer (fitbit) and ensured that I measured number of steps. I started with 5000 steps a day, and slowly built it to 12k-15k a day. It is a great game you can play with yourself. It will come as a surprise to many how little we walk each day, and how much fun it can be to track steps.
  • Love yourself: Learning to love myself was most important. We forget the most important person in our lives – and that is ourselves. Less stressing about things, finding time to do little things for myself – sleeping better (8 hours atleast ) and not worrying about every thing in life. All that is so critical as well.

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 45-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.

 

Tags: , , ,

EITHER YOU DO, OR YOU DON’T. THERE IS NO IN-BETWEEN

EITHER YOU DO, OR YOU DON’T. THERE IS NO IN-BETWEEN

This is so true. When you commit to something, you either do it, or you don’t. There is simply no in-between. When you even contemplate an ‘in-between’ and indulge yourself with excuses, you don’t achieve what you set out to, in the first place. I refrain from using the word ‘fail’, as sometimes, we have to try a few times before we succeed, and some just need that extra push.As you grow, there are IMG_2678many things you learn about yourself.

One of the things I admitted to myself was that I simply put off stuff that I felt was too hard for me. I did the easy things first, and half heartedly attempted new challenges only to let go mid way.  If I did not succeed, I allowed myself multitude of excuses. My poor health in 2012 and the fear of not being in this world for long enough, made me sit up and take stock.

Things I changed:

I stopped being in denial: I admitted to myself that I was unwell due to my own doing. I had made very poor choices in my life – particularly emotional choices, which led to making poor choices in my lifestyle, which had led to my huge weight gain.

I committed to myself that I would finish whatever I started, no matter what: So, I first committed to losing all the excess weight I was carrying. I did. I lost 4 stone in 8 months. Then, I decided to get my health back. I exercised, ate better and made better life choices – I reclaimed my health and my emotional life. Then, in November 2014, I set myself a challenge to run my first half marathon, a day after my 45th birthday. I did that as well.

Was it easy? No. Was it hard? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. Why? Simply, because it taught me things that I would never have learnt otherwise. And, because, I found that insane hidden part of me, finally 🙂

Lessons learnt:

  • I felt more alive than ever: New Challenges give you renewed life. You are never too young or too old for anything, I did my half marathon on my 45th birthday. I was told that I was insane, (just as I was told when at 42 I wanted to shed that excess fat). I looked forward to training and the big day, every day. I felt alive. Every ache and pain in my body was earned. I loved it.
  • Giving up (despite my injury) was not even an option : Such Challenges test you. I had no desire to prove anything to anyone but myself. I set that challenge for myself, and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this. I had never run before, so I had no idea what it felt to run for kind of distance. It felt just right for me. Scary enough to push me, yet not kill me. I was tested all the way – training routine was not easy as my overseas travel came in the way of my training. But if previously I would make excuses not to exercise, I found myself making excuses to exercise and find the nearest gym. I struggled with jet-lag, lack of sleep, severe back ache, and many many inside demons asking me to give up. Then on the day of the run, at the 10km mark, I felt my left foot go under. I had managed to sprain my foot, and I had 13 kms to go. Giving up was not even considered. I had to work on Plan B. Instead of running, I decided to do brisk walk and jog whenever possible. It was the toughest 1.5 hrs I have done, almost akin to going through labour pains. It tested me. Tested my will. Tested my endurance. Tested my pain threshold. And, the sense of achievement I felt when I reached the finish line was something I cannot even put into words. You have to experience it, to understand.
  • The strength of our mind is limitless:  I had heard this before, and I tested it. Seriously, it’s all in our mind. There is nothing we cannot do, if we set our minds to it. 3 years ago, I couldn’t even imagine walking 100 metres without complaining or thinking I needed medical help. The strength of our mind is absolutely limitless. We need to test is more often.
  • It made me hungry for more: Now that I have experienced the euphoria of such a challenge, I want more. I am looking for my next adventure. It doesn’t have to be harder, but needs to be harder, so I can push myself further. 

Every new challenge for me is dedicated to my peers, regardless of whether we have met or not. That age is simply a number. Do not create any limiting boundaries for yourself. Keep pushing yourself to live every day, to the fullest.

I want to die healthy and happy. But before that, I want to live healthy and happy. 

Thank you Diabetes UK for the opportunity to support my community in overcoming this silent killer.

For those who want to support me in my quest do click on www.justgiving.com/wildestdreams and make a donation to help those with diabetes .

My story

“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 45-year-old mother of twins, whose family had a history of Diabetes, was diagnosed with the disorder in 2012. The news brought about a radical change in Raga and has inspired her to help others with Diabetes and raise awareness. This is her story, in her own words.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 4, 2015 in Diabetes

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: