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 on 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.  (more…)

Either you Do or You Don’t – There is No In-Between

Brighton half marathon

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 midway.  If I did not succeed, I allowed myself a 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 this 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 as 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 backache, 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 km 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.

Don’t Think It Will Never Happen To You

Growing up, I had a different kind of struggle with my weight. If anything, I was constantly teased about the ‘lack of fat’ on my bones. A big point of discussion at family gatherings of course. ‘Who will marry you‘?, ‘Oh, look at you, how thin you are, doesn’t your mother feed you‘, or even better ‘How will you be able to bear any children‘.  My entire family and close circle worried for me. And, inside me, I had automatically tuned in to the fact that I was thin and I was going to be skinny all my life. (more…)

When I Contemplated Gastric Bypass

It was July 2012. I have had enough. My doctor had just diagnosed me with Diabetes Type 2, along with other serious health complications as well. I had written my own death warrant, I felt, by leading a very poor lifestyle and taking my life for granted. I needed to change that. I had to – there was so much to look forward to. A young family to look after, ambitions to be fulfilled, good to be shared and the legacy that I always talked about. That had to yet unfold.  I couldn’t give up. But, I have had enough. I reached that point when I said to myself ‘this is it, I refuse to live a life of someone will self-inflicted disabilities’. I needed my life back. There is this moment when you make that decision, and that’s it. I was speaking with a leading nutritionist from London, Amanda Ursell today, who was on the BBC Radio 94.9, Eddie Nestor show with me, and we both agreed that change only happens when we reach that moment when something inside us just clicks. That is the moment that I wish I had reached before it reached me.


That moment when I made a decision to change my life around, and I knew the extra weight was my first issue, I wanted it gone fast. As quickly as possible. I did not want to waste any more time. I wanted a quick fix. I also felt that losing all that excess weight would be impossible. I had no idea how to start, where to start and how to make it happen. So, I choose the next best option. I decided to speak to the doctor about that procedure I had heard so much about. The Gastric band or Gastric bypass surgery. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought if all I needed to do was have surgery and my weight would be considerably lower. I was so wrong.

My doctor was shocked that someone as educated and self-aware as I, had chosen this option. I was not morbidly obese, nor was I at a point that I required medical intervention. What he shared opened my eyes, to the challenges of such a decision:

1) I had to choose to eat better, exercise and change my lifestyle to even be considered for a gastric bypass. That would take a while in any case.

2) The operation itself would be life-threatening with horror stories of things going very wrong at the operating table.

3) Post-surgery, I had to continue to eat less, eat better, healthier and exercise lots.

This was my moment of epiphany. I felt if I could make the decision to have a healthier lifestyle, make better food choices, better lifestyle choices, with exercise pre-surgery, then I could do it without surgery.

That is how I managed to re-wire my thinking and chose the option of making life long lifestyle changes, and here I am today, with a healthy weight loss (still work in progress), diabetes under remission and a family that also follows a healthy lifestyle.

This was not easy at all. It was a lot of self-talk, compromises, sacrifices, and challenges of temptations all around. It still is, and will always be, I know. I continue to keep myself above all this. I hope you do too