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.
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.
“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.