I have always been that chubby kid who went on to become that fat friend that never fit into the group and was mostly the odd one out. I grew to accept that I was born to be overweight because everyone said “not everyone is meant to be slim”. It felt like my fate I couldn’t change it. I was constantly taunted about my weight by schoolmates and to make matters worse I was blessed with big hips and a generous behind that I was thoroughly ashamed of.
At age 17 I weighed about 75kg and by 23 years I weighed over 100kg at barely 5ft 3″. I made up my mind from then on to avoid the scale since the numbers were never friendly. By age 25, my blood pressure was so high and I was told by the doctor that I was borderline hypertensive. I was asked to lose some weight to help manage it to avoid being placed on medication for life. This made me sad but it that didn’t push me to try to lose some weight. Instead I turned to food for comfort.
Fast forward to June 2014, after series of tests, I was diagnosed with poly-cystic ovarian syndrome popularly called PCOS. That was the first time I was hearing about it and I was truly afraid. Thankfully I was told it wasn’t cancerous or deadly but it messes up with a woman’s hormones. Sadly, some of the side effects of PCOS is UNUSUAL WEIGHT GAIN and increase in appetite. I was told there is NO CURE for it and the only way it could only be managed is by losing some weight. How can I lose weight when this condition makes me gain weight? This meant that any effort to lose weight will be fought by this PCOS and I will have to put in twice the effort a normal person puts in. Phew! I wasn’t prepared for this blow. After a few weeks, weighing over 125kg and with a BMI that spelt OBESITY, I decided it was time to do something about my weight
Before now, I had tried so many short cuts/quick fixes/fad diets to lose weight. I had tried almost every fad diet I heard of -cabbage diet, fruit and water only diet, protein only diet, drinking local herbs that caused diarrhoea for days non-stop and landed me in the hospital at some point. I went as far as going to the dentist to get my teeth tied together to stop me from eating solid food and I fed on liquid alone for two months. Just name it, I had done it all but I simply lost a couple of pounds with each diet and gained them all back and more after I resumed eating normally again.
This time I heard of the Cambridge diet (another sophisticated fad diet if you ask me) and decided to give it a shot. On this diet, I ate only packaged shakes and soups and within 9 short weeks I had lost over 40lbs! I didn’t know any better and I was happy with my progress. Unfortunately, by September of same 2014 I lost my dad suddenly and the shock of that loss threw me back into depression. By February 2015, I had regained all the weight I lost from the diet.
In April 2015, I decided to give weight loss one last shot but this time the right way. I began to read about the best and effective way to shed weight and keeping it off permanently. I wanted something sustainable. From my mini research, I found out that the only sustainable way out of obesity is exercising and eating healthy! I started out by jogging/brisk walking for about 45mins – an hour, 4-5 days a week before registering in a gym. It was at this gym that I discovered weight training and fell in love. On the days I couldn’t make it to the gym, I worked out at home to YouTube videos.
The hardest part of this journey for me was my mental struggle. At the beginning, I struggled so much with self-doubt because I didn’t believe in myself and my abilities. I was so used to seeing me fail so many times in the past that it was hard to picture me winning this time. So for me, showing up even on the days I don’t feel like it or making a healthy food choice when I could easily make a bad one is victory. I have had weeks when I just shut down due to mental pressure but I never give up. I simply pick up from where I stopped and keep moving. I have learnt to stop beating myself up for struggling. It’s all part of the journey and makes me stronger each time I pull through.
Throughout my journey, I have not used any product to aid my weight loss. I have only stuck to the natural way -eating good healthy food and exercising my body and so far I have lost over 30kg (highest loss was 35kg in 2016) and still working towards losing more.
My advice to anyone aspiring to lose weight is this: JUST START! The time will never be right. Just start off and wobble/crawl along if you have to. You will eventually find the balance. You do not have to know it all to start off, all you need to have is your desire and passion to gift yourself a better, healthier and fit body. Also, do not look for quick fixes. I assure you that they work but only temporarily. The old-fashioned way of exercising and eating healthy is still the surest and most sustainable method. It might take a while but it will get you there