RSS

Category Archives: Exercise

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.

 

Advertisements
 
3 Comments

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

 

Tags: , , ,

What holds us back?

What holds us back?

We will all start the new year with new goals, commitments, make promises to ourselves – all of which we will very quickly start making excuses for and very quickly forget. After all, isn’t that what new years are for? 🙂

We want things to change for us. We seek transformation. We all want new beginnings.  Yet, something holds us back.

I have had enough years in my life to know the reality from the illusion. I have made numerous excuses over the years. Most of it I have absolutely believed in until I have reflected over a glass of … *cough cough.

So, what holds us back?

The answer, is not in the ‘what’, it’s in the ‘who’.

Who holds us back? I, me, myself. We hold ourselves back. The reasons may differ for us individually; however on reflection and discussions with various people around me, I discovered 3 key reasons, which I am sharing:

Self limiting beliefs: We totally allow ourselves to believe that what we cannot do. See? We speak to ourselves – in a negative manner. Even when we positively affirm that ‘the sky is my limit’, we set ourselves limits. We make excuses for not making changes – whether it is of mind or body or soul. How many times have I said, “I am travelling hence not able to make right choices of food. My life is so busy I am unable to exercise. It’s Diwali, I can’t help but eat all those goodies. I haven’t seen my friend in years, so I need to binge”

We limit ourselves and we absolutely believe  that is right for us. We tell ourselves constantly that we don’t deserve it. And we allow other people’s negative energies and talk dictate what is right for us. We allow ourselves to be held back.

The first thing I did for myself was become ‘free’, which means exactly that. ‘Free”. I live my life fully on my terms (that’s not always a good thing 🙂. When I find myself speaking negative, I stop. It’s hard. It’s a continuous cycle because it’s taken years of practice to be negative to myself, and therefore I am very aware that it won’t change overnight.

Our fears: We are all so fearful of fear. We fear failure. What if we start something and fail at it. That’s a scary place for us. We even fear success. What if we succeed and then what? Will that mean we have to keep succeeding? That’s a scary place again. We fear pain, we fear emotions, we fear feelings, we fear change, we fear hurt. Yet, we want it all. Yet, we know that without pain we will not be able to achieve what we seek. Our fears hold us back for sure.

Imagine going to the gym, listening to your favourite tunes on your iPhone, getting on the treadmill and walking at a speed of a snail. And then thinking ‘hey, I exercised today’. But over time we see no change. No pain. No gain. The real achievement is when you get into that gym and sweat it out with the max you are able to, completely outside your comfort zone; come out of that gym feeling like a warrior. That is pain. But that brings change.

What if we stopped fearing? What if we let them go – one by one, gradually. Be in a state of great intent and purity. Nothing matters then. Except our own transformation.

Our environment: We allow our environment to hold us back.We worry about what society will think. You know I dreaded going to the gym for years after I gained weight, worrying about what the others at the gym will think. It took me months of focussing on myself to realise that no one was even worrying about me. They were worrying about the same thing :).

We create our own environment. Look around you, the people you hang out with are a direct representation of the environment you have chosen to create for yourself. If you are amongst positive people, every bit of your life will be upswing and positive. Negative people have the same impact – but in the opposite way. When we start allowing the environment to dictate who we should be, that’s when we know that we are holding ourselves back.

Be in a place that represents you fully. The fact that you are reading this blog demonstrates that you want to make that change, that transformation – of reclaiming health, reclaiming life, of living each day with the best intent to make a true difference to your life and others. Come and join me in that pursuit and let’s support each other in that transformation.

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.

 

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Exercise, Uncategorized

 

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: , , ,

LIVING MY WILDEST DREAM, HALF MARATHON (21 KMS) IN 18 WEEKS

LIVING MY WILDEST DREAM, HALF MARATHON (21 KMS) IN 18 WEEKS

My story so far:

So those of you who have followed my journey would know how difficult it was for me that time in 2012, when I was very ill. Walking 5 minutes was a huge effort, let alone the thought of running. It was only going to get worse, and possibly result in the ultimate – death.  It was pure strength of will, focus, absolute determination, hard work and the support of my family and close circle of friends that helped me reclaim my health and my life. I have come a long way since then. I can now run 5 kms, I won’t say effortlessly, but quite easily.  On my recent trip to Brixen, Italy I had a few minutes to make up my mind about para-gliding in the Dolomites. I have never done any thing like this before. I decided to just go for it. And what an amazing 20 minutes that was, flying high in the sky over 3500 meters above ground, looking down at the valley. It was beyond anything I had experienced  or imagined before. I suddenly learnt the power of mental endurance. Then a couple of weeks later, came the opportunity to do a 15 kms Bridges Challenge for Diabetes UK  which further reaffirmed my belief in myself, and what I could achieve, if I set my mind to it. This gave me the will to set out a new challenge. With continued encouragement from all of you out there, I know I can do this. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Diet, Energy, Exercise, Motivation

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Is Forty an age to die? Diabetes can kill.

Is Forty an age to die? Diabetes can kill.

Is 40  an age to die? I wasn’t ready then, I am not ready now. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Diabetes, Exercise, Motivation

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lessons Learnt from Detoxing My Soul

Lessons Learnt from Detoxing My Soul

In my previous post, I talked about detoxing the soul, not just the mind and the body.

In this post I am sharing the lessons, I have learnt: Read the rest of this entry »

 

Detox your Soul

Detox your Soul

I have often participated in ‘short term‘ solutions through my life.  If I had too much to eat, I would detox through abstinence from certain food for a period of time, popularly called ‘fasting‘. If I had too much to drink, then I would detox using liver cleansing methods. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sabotage – loss makes us our own enemy

We have all been through our share of losses. The pain of losing someone very close is not something one can describe in words. People talk about moving on, letting go, about making peace within, not holding on to any pain, so on and so forth. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Exercise, Motivation, Observations

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

It Hurts so Good.

It Hurts so Good.

Before forcing myself to get back to the gym this week, I wasn’t exactly what one would call “in shape.” Having just returned from a a hiatus over Christmas that extended until the end of winter, I’d acquired four months of bread/snacks/ couch potato weight and was feeling generally lethargic. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 3, 2014 in Exercise, Nicola Fenton

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: