How I lost 50+ Pounds

I’m writing this article on special request by few of my good friends. This has been pending for long, about 6 months to be very precise. Sincere apologies for the delay.


Standing 5 feet and 5 inches tall, I was always skinny during my college days. Did I just say skinny and not healthy ? Yes, because at 102 lbs, I  was just skinny and not healthy by any standards. I never had enough strength , had backaches and would be tired so easily. That was no way close to being fit and strong. 

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May 2007, 102 lbs

 

During my first pregnancy, I ate like a pig. I feel like slapping those persons who advised me to ‘eat for two’. No wonder I gained 65 lbs as a result of my insane meals. But, no regrets. Post partum,  I lost most of my weight by the time our baby turned one. I never obsessed about losing weight after that because at around 125 lbs, my doctor advised me that was a good weight.


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July, 2009, 125 lbs

 



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2009, 125 lbs

 

After my father passed away in 2011, my mind and body was in a state of shock. It took me a while to face the reality. And all the stress and mental agony disturbed my thyroid. In early 2012, when I realized I was carrying our second baby, my thyroid was not functioning well too. I need to mention my thyroid here as it contributed a lot in gaining 60 lbs during my second pregnancy. I was just helpless, watching my weight soaring like a rocket. At the same time, I was enjoying my pregnancy without worrying about weight gain. With the arrival of baby no. 2 , life totally changed and with that, priorities also changed. I had no time to think about my weight ( 175 lbs ). I just focused on my baby and tried my best to make new adjustments.

 

The Change
 
 
I did not want to hold on to the weight I had gained from two pregnancies. Moreover, it was quite embarrassing when people asked me if I was expecting a third baby since all my baby fat took shelter in my belly 🙁   I knew it was time to start exercising.
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December 2012, 170 lbs

 

Thought process

 

Once I knew  that I had to shed extra pounds, I thought of reasonable  ways to begin my exercise routine. Before that, walking was the only exercise I was comfortable with. With some walking experience and knowledge of basic yoga, I was all set for my weight loss journey. Here is what I did.

  1. Eat Clean : My focus was on eating a well balanced, nutritious meal three times a day ( Yes, you heard me right , thrice a day ! ) without skipping any meal. Eating clean is a lifestyle change and so you do it for rest of your life. Don’t be trapped by diet pills/ some diets which claim to work in a week or two. They might help you in short term weight loss.  And chances are you will gain all that weight back as soon as you stop taking those pills or following that diet.  If you want a long term solution for weight loss and also if you want to be lean and healthy for rest of your life, adapt yourself to a healthier lifestyle instead.
  1. Get moving : I was committed to incorporate 20 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week. You must be wondering how can you lose weight with so little exercise !!  My  point then was not to be working out like a dog. My only target at that particular time was to get started with a workout routine. So, please don’t be over ambitious and tell yourself to exercise seven days a week. It will never work. Don’t be harsh to your self. Start slowly. Take baby steps. Make your goal more achievable and easy for your own self. Remember ‘Slow and steady wins the race’  !!!
  1. Food Journal : To get myself started, I maintained an online food and exercise journal. Noom coach is an excellent app which helped me track my calories and exercises. I used it almost daily for about two months. My plan was to have an idea about the number of calories I’m consuming. The good thing about this app is that it has  a database of most of the Indian dishes I eat daily. I have always been a healthy eater but since I had to lose more than 50 lbs , I thought it would be nice to get a rough idea about my calorie intake. Because when you are losing that much weight, calories do matter ! Once I knew I was not exceeding my calorie budget ( 2000 calories daily ), I stopped logging my food. If possible, try an online food journal ( Noom Coach, Myfitness pal etc. ) or maintain a food dairy. It works.
  2. Rewarding yourself along the way. For me it was a Burberry bag after losing 30 lbs. I thought I really deserved that. Set new goals and give yourself nonfood rewards when you reach them, such as a bottle of nail polish or a good book. I didn’t mention clothes as a reward because chances are if you are losing weight you will need new set of clothing. It can be  a need based reward!
  1. Happy and Positive Thoughts : I try to surround myself with positivity. I don’t know how to be sad for long or keep complaining about stuff. I always  keep my thought process clean. This may not have a direct relation to weight loss but definitely keeps me in good spirits. Purity of thought counts and optimism helps.

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June 21, 2013, 140 lbs

 

My Action Plan

 

I started doing stroller walks with my baby . Once I lost few pounds, I was motivated to give more time to exercise. Keeping the duration same, I increased the frequency of my work outs from twice a week to 3-4 times. I never worked out more than 4 times a week. There were two reasons: I didn’t want to set high targets for myself for I was afraid of not exercising at all. Secondly, my target weight loss every month was 4-6 pounds. I could see the results with my slow and steady work out routine and I was happy about it.

 



Few weeks later, I increased the intensity of my workouts. Walking changed into jogging.  I also joined Zumba class once a week. Again, I was going slow. I could have done Zumba twice or even more in a week, but I was satisfied with the results.
 
Whatever exercise you pick, go slow in the beginning. Once you see the results, which you should see if you are consistent, increase the intensity or start / add a new exercise like dance, biking, elliptical. I tried all of them once a week ( one at a time) but other two days I was brisk walking only.
 
 


Few pointers :

 

  • Find exercise you not only love but also enjoy.
  • No yo- yo dieting or diet pills.  
  • Slowbut a steady workout routine.
  • Plan your meals ahead to avoid bad eating habits. If possible cook your own meals.
  • Read more about HIIT and strength training on web. I missed doing those because I didn’t know much about these two. But experts believe they trigger the weight loss in a good way if done properly.
  • Make the switch from:
White Bread to Brown Bread
White Rice to Brown Rice
White Pasta to Whole Wheat Pasta / Brown Rice Pasta
White Sugar to Brown Sugar/ Raw sugar/ Honey
Sodas to Green Tea
 

Striking a balance…. 

People who are obsessed with the beautification of their bodies fail to realize the harmful effects of that craziness on their health. If over eating is bad for you , so is over exercising. Weight loss can (and should ) never happen overnight. If the sole purpose of exercising is losing weight, believe me you will get bored soon. Enjoy the whole process. To me it’s the time ( and sometimes the only time of day or week ) when I can enjoy my own company. It helps me to reconnect to my thoughts. I so look forward to exercising that if I haven’t exercised for a week ( life happens ! ) my happy hormones start declining. Also, you should understand that  weight is just a number, don’t get fixed to a particular number.  It’s good to have a target weight but I always have a weight range. For me its 120 lbs – 130 lbs. As long as I’m in that weight range, I need not worry. I believe it’s good to be flexible and forgiving. It works for me. Maybe it won’t work for you. But give it a try. And of course your weight range will be different from mine!

 

And remember …..

 

  • There are no short cuts, no miracles, no pills which can help you shed those extra pounds  and keep them off in the long run. Only a holistic lifestyle can help you stay fit and healthy  in the long run.
  • Adhere to a simple plan. Eat whatever you want to  as long as it is healthy and you stay around your calorie budget ( use online apps for this ).
  • Try new routines at gym – cross trainer, cycling and Zumba.
  • Eat clean and slip in daily exercises to regain your strength.

 



Maintenance phase

Now that I have lost all the baby weight, I would like to maintain it. I don’t want to lose weight but would like to stay healthy and strong keeping my weight in that healthy range. I’m not doing much cardio but try to walk a few times /week. I am also doing strength training twice a week with yoga and pilates as my most preferred ways to exercise. I rarely exercise more than 4 times a week.

 

 

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June 2014, 117 lbs

 

A note of gratitude

My weight loss journey would have been incomplete without my husband and my sister who constantly motivated me to stay on track. These two  gave me just the right push to achieve my health goals. I’m truly blessed to have them in my life. And I’m indebted to my parents who have inculcated good eating habits right from my childhood.

An update

As of today, 28th December 2015, I haven’t weighed myself in last few months but I know I’m in my healthy weight range. My clothes tell me that I’m doing good and needn’t step on the scale. I will be doing a new blog on my diet very very soon as requested by many of my readers.

 

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December 2015. I don’t know my exact weight but it’s between 120 lbs -130 lbs.

 

Any questions, leave me a comment and I shall get back to you !

 

Want to know which is the right gym wear for you ?  Click here to read about some fun workout clothes.

Meanwhile do check me at Facebook and Instagram  for daily inspiration.

 

38 Comments

  1. I love this because you explained how and why so well and with such great detail it inspires!

  2. Very good tips!! I incorporated the same things when I lost 15 pounds! Good for you!!

  3. Very happy that you were able to achieve your goal. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. I started a healthy lifestyle weight loss journey back in May. You are right when you say slow and steady is the way to go. It’s really about permanent changes.

  5. Love this! Your journey is amazing. I plan on using some of these tips to help me I just need to remember patience is key with all this! <3

  6. Wow! Your story is very inspiring. Great job and great health to you and a prosperous 2016! Keep up the great work 🙂

  7. i have no words for you, you motivate me. i am facing the same problem. thanks for sharing a very nice article written there

  8. glad i read this, as i say to all, eat organic, stay fit and exercise alot to loose weight… u look better now that before i will say… thanks for sharing and keep fit as always..

    http://www.lexhansplace.com

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  11. Jai Ho ! Keep the good health running ! All the best ! God Bless !

  12. Truly inspiring Monika! I got to check it out again in leisure today. Your article radiates positive spirit and motivates anyone who reads it, to chose a healthy active lifestyle. You know, I always think there are many ways to contribute or serve a community. Being a positive influence and sharing tips honestly is one of those ways! You have a natural teacher in you, and you influence everyone

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  14. Fancy ideas. by. a housewife who hasall the time .join a hectic job post partum. and u will loose weight without anybody rewarding u.

  15. Very well written!!

  16. Welk done u r very dedicated and the best part is u still maintain it beautiful girl……;-)

  17. I have been thinking of starting a routine, my laziness has pulled me back.Your blog is very motivating and the tips you shared won&#39;t demand me sparing hours on exercise.Will definitely start as no regrets for yesterday and start your day fresh :)Thanks a lot<br />

  18. Wat i have started now is … drinking a detox drink made of spring water , cucmber, grape fruit, lemon n lime …tummy feels very light :)<br />Please share ur healthy routines below so we can motivate each other.

  19. Very inspiring n motivating Monika.Wat inspire me the most is being consistent n eat regularly. In my case it s the positive attitude thats lacking.But i ll try my best to stay happy n focussed. Well done!!

  20. Very inspiring n motivating!

  21. very nice, good job honey

  22. Great article.

  23. Thanks for sharing… nice article.

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