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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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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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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 »

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

 

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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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How to lose weight the smart way – a letter to a friend

How to lose weight the smart way – a letter to a friend

A friend with whom I shared  my food log with (www.myfitnesspal.com) commented on how little I ate. I also noticed that she had a few issues dealing with her weight loss — I shared my thoughts through an email…..here it is.                                 

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Diabetes, Diet

 

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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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No Time for Exercise ? Try This

Please follow my Facebookpage

My blog is not about losing weight. It is about re-gaining health. I am a middle-aged woman, with a full-on life. I lost control for a while, gained huge amount of weight in a very short span, and got very ill.  I was told I couldn’t live much longer if I did not do something about it. The starting point for me was to lose the excess weight. It was not easy. It was not hard either. It was just about making a decision and taking action. I decided to take one day at a time. Every day, I focussed on that one day. And slowly, things changed. I lost the weight. I re-gained my health. My diabetes went into remission. I no longer suffer from hypertension. My liver is fine. The stone in my gall bladder is getting smaller. Is it a “miracle” as we would like to believe? No. It is simply, about making a decision and taking action, and sticking with it, every day.

One common phrase I have heard over and over again, “You are so lucky, you can exercise, I have no time to exercise”!

Seriously, one thing we all have in common is the 24 hours we get. What we do with those 24 hours each day, is what makes us different.

Make the decision and take action:

I have been there — making hundreds of excuses for not being able to exercise> some of my common excuses were:

  • No time – long days, and longer nights of work !
  • Travel – as you all know, I travel atleast 10-15 days a month
  • Children – Two teenagers is a full-time job plus more…
  • Social life – late nights can be tiring … with all that eating, and drinking!
  • Unpredictable life – I have to travel at short notice at times
  • Over 40 – My life is now about my children, so why bother!
  • Why put the effort – Exercise does take effort.
  • What will people think – Oh, I thought the whole world was watching 🙂
All of the above is totally true, and has not changed, honestly. But, I decided to work with it.  So, I make use of what I have, with the time I have.
Just simple things to do at home. Remember, every little thing does count, as my trainer once told me, “everything is CBO” (Calorie Burning Opportunity).  Ten calories here, and ten calories there…it all adds up. And it’s fun!!!
  • Buckets: Oh, that’s the best. I use half filled buckets (soaked with whites) to lift. helps with building my core, and also my arms.
  • kichen bench for push ups – while cooking, waiting for the pot to boil…
  • More ways to use the chair – I do planks, tricep bench dips. I sit on the chair at times, and do stomach crunches.
  • Stairs: Apart from using the stairs to go up and down, I use them to do push ups. I do about 50 odd a day.  Just because I can!
  • Children : If you have young children, carry them around! Amazing calorie burners.
I am still a few kilos away from my goal. But my goal is not about my weight. I want to stay well, healthy and alive.  I have a lifetime ahead of me, after all.

Feel free to comment on this, share with anyone needing encouragement. Remember, every little does count.  Follow me on Facebook
 
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Posted by on March 2, 2014 in Diabetes, Diet, Motivation

 

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Raga Finally Gets Off Her Ass and Takes The First Step




RagaGetsOffHerAss:

First issue was I had no idea where to start. Doctors basically have no time for you.  They share what they think they should and leave you to deal with it. Also, what do you ask someone about something that you have no idea about! So, you just nod, smile and go home and feel worse, and feel all sorry for yourself.
However, we live in great times – we have access to information. That was my first step.
Research
First, I researched every information I could on diabetes, hypertension and my gall bladder problem. I searched the internet. I found very interesting tips and information on www.diabetes.co.ukwww.livestrong.com amongst other sites. There is a huge amount of information available.
All the research, led to one key solution to my problem.  LOSE the weight.  

And losing weight was not just an exercise in working-out and diet, I realised it was much more. It meant, I had to:

 – re-tune my thinking
– get my family on my side 
– be more disciplined (if I had to wake up 2 hours earlier than usual so I could add gym to my routine, I had to). Also getting adequate sleep was as important as the work out.
– work on my emotional side – lots. There are days you just don’t good. Those are the days you need to be stronger, and push yourself
– find my spiritual side, to ensure I was happy inside, knew who i was. (this lead me to searching for a  higher purpose which I had always questioned in the past – more on that in later posts)
– change my way of attitude towards food.
– change my attitude towards working out.  Wow, is it hard! In London when the temperatures get low and all you want to do is lay in the duvet that extra hour….
– let go of all inhibitions – when you are at the gym, you are the only ‘focus’ you need to be
– learn to be more happy

Biggest question I worried about: But, where do I start?

I realised, I had to simply give it everything I had –  to make a change!

Don’t believe anyone who says that you should go ahead and eat/drink anything you want as long as you drink/eat in moderation. NOPE. 

It’s a committment. No half measures. You got to give it all that you have got!Life gave me a second chance – I wanted to not mess it up. 

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Diabetes, Diet, Motivation

 

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One July Morning

 

 

That July morning, when I woke up to a different day – when I saw darkness around me in many forms, was the lowest day of my life. The symptoms were painful. I got myself to a doctor, series of tests…all suggesting I had severe Type 2 diabetes, huge stone in my gall bladder, hypertension amongst other ailments, all due to obesity.

Time stood still. But more than that, life stood still. 

I had no idea of Diabetes except that I had lost a few family members, who lost their limbs first before they passed on. And at very young age. I had a history of diabetes in my family. I felt I had no chance.  My doctor suggested getting the gall bladder out. But, he wouldn’t operate (or just couldn’t) on me as I had severe diabetes, which meant the chances of infection was very high and so was the healing time. I was scared inside to undergo surgery as I had no fall back option for my young twins if something were to happen to me. Those were dark days.  Long days and longer nights.  I felt alone. Miserable. Lost. 

 
Other than the diagnoses, I hated the feeling I had within. I felt extremely unwell. For the first time ever, I felt I couldn’t go on with life. I needed to end it all and start again.People who know me are shocked that I was going through all that — I just did not show it to anyone. It is common, amongst us women. We simply pretend all is well to the world, when inside we are crumbling.
 
It’s then I got off my ass and decided to give it a try. To start all over again without ending anything. I made the decision to get off my arse.  And GetOffMyAss I did!

I decided to take charge of my life…

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Diabetes, Diet, Motivation

 

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