I have always been a very happy, positive person and have had a great attitude to life. I live every moment in the best way I am able. However, I made certain choices in life that set me off on a different journey that at times took me to very dark places. I learnt very quickly about human behaviour and the dark side of life.
I had decided to move on from a very peaceful, comfortable life with a beautiful family when I was in New Zealand, to a life that would leave me exposed to being judged, as I had decided I was going to explore my sexuality.
This choice created many challenges – emotional and at times physical abuse from those around me (not my ex-husband), I lost so-called friendships, people constantly judged and shared negative opinions and this also had an impact on my kids who were little at that time. This put me into a very deep dark hole. Outwardly, I seemed happy and excited about life, and I believe I laughed much more than I would otherwise (overcompensating) but inside I was breaking each day. I was finding it very hard to cope. Waking up and doing normal things was a struggle. Having the kids helped me push myself to do what I had to do. I got up, dressed and showed up each day. I went in and out of deep depression. Too scared to share with anyone, in case they judged me again.
There are still deep scars from that time and every now and again I go back in there, but I come out of it. I know how to deal with it now. I write poetry or I just write. My Untold Lies is from such times. I use tools, I keep myself busy with work, hobby and just allow myself to do what I need to do. I do nothing that will make it harder or difficult for myself. On such dark days, I am kinder to myself and try and love myself as I would a friend, who is going through a similar journey.
A short snippet of a personal story on mental health issues.
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…)
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 many 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 🙂
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.
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.
Most of us know that winter is a dreadful time for those facing the challenges of weight. It’s harder to get out and exercise, and even harder to not succumb to the temptations of hot fries, oily fried food, take-aways and all those indulgences.
My old self used to find much solace in all these ‘excuses’. After all, how could one possibly get out in the bitter winter cold, with wet tracks and icy chilling winds. My new self doesn’t care anymore. I manage to run out in the elements and find myself making ‘excuses’ to exercise and eat better. (more…)
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 km, I won’t say effortlessly, but quite easily. (more…)