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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.

 

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

 

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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. 

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

 

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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.

 

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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 »

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

 

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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 »

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

 

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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 »

 

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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 »

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

 

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My bucket list number 1

My bucket list number 1

So, no time for the gym? Do you have a bucket? Here’s one way of using it!

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Diabetes, Diet, Motivation

 

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When I’m Feeling Blue, All I have To Do Is …….

 

We all have blue days. Don’t we?
 
Some days it is because we are over stressed, over worked, upset with somebody, hurt, not feeling loved, unwell or someone whom we love deeply is unwell. So many reasons. But some days we feel blue for just no reason. I am certain, we have all been there. This morning I woke up feeling blue. Just for no reason.  Perhaps it is the London grey day? But then its grey most days here? So, why today? No real reason.
But, that’s not the point. The point is what do I do when I feel blue? Well, there is ‘what I did‘ when I felt blue in the past, and ‘what I do now’.
My past
 
In the past, without giving it much thought – I would just head to the pantry, and pick out whatever came my way, obviously anything edible :). I have had ice-creams at 9 am, chocolates at 7 am, have eaten my way out of feeling blue by chipping away at potato chips all day, have had pizzas (which I typically don’t like) for lunch and dinner and in-between meals, eaten and eaten and eaten my way out! Did it make me feel any better? A big FAT NO.  I piled on the pounds and kilos, and thought it was fine to do that. By the time I got over this very temporary phase, I would be feeling fat and feel guilty. The guilt would make me go back to feeling low, and the cycle would continue. I would make myself feel better by eating and foolishly thinking, that at least I wasn’t calling up any one and whining, or putting up sad Facebook posts, ha.

My now

Today I woke up feeling blue. For no reason, as I said.  Just did.  Each time I felt the desire to get something out of that pantry, I stopped myself and drank a glass of water.  Yes, I feel bloated now, ha! But, guess what. Today, I won’t be doing any of that. I put my mind over matter – fully.

Instead, I will::

  • Continue with my normal healthy options
  • Go for a walk, and exercise longer
  • Call a friend and chat – and be honest about my feelings
  • Read a trashy novel
  • blog (which I am doing now – but will i post this? hope so…so others can get some tips..)
  • Watch ‘Jeremy Kyle’ and see how life is worse for others
  • listen to my favourite songs (oh, Dido…where are you?)
  • Perhaps, feel a little bad for myself – get tired of being a super human some times…
  • And simply CHILL
Good luck to those of us that feel this way, some days. Just know that this too shall pass. Don’t eat trash on such days. Just do the right things for you, and those are not connected with food. Distract yourself with better stuff — and it will pass. I promise myself that ..today…!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Diabetes, Diet, Motivation

 

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The Magic of Weight loss


You have no  idea, how many people I meet, talk to , communicate with, tell me how lucky I am to lose this weight.  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 they 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 just cannot exercise), we start calling it ‘lifestyle’ issues.  Hard work plays a major role in losing it, simply!

It’s pure science though. Nothing to do with magic.I was eating way too much. I discovered 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?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 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 calories a day, which is the recommended calorie intake for women my age.  However, when I did finally log in my food intake on http://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 eat for one person, and eat a horse. You got to eat right.  Decide your meals for next day a day in advance. Plan, plan, plan.  Most of us don’t know how many calories we intake in each meal. Use free tools such as http://www.myfitnesspal.com.
Divide your meals into
– 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). 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, reading and simply annoying others 🙂

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 http://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! 

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Diabetes, Diet, Motivation

 

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