I am a 25 year old medical student who suffered from obesity three years back. I am a petite lady with a height of 5’2”. I grew up being a slim girl and the day I entered medical school I started stress eating.
Within two years my weight gain was 15kgs(33pounds) I was 50kg in the beginning and I was 65kgs at the end of my 2nd year in medical school.
With the sudden weight gain I found it difficult to do my day today work. Finding clothes to wear was a one hell of a nightmare for me. I couldn’t even climb 3,4 stairs without getting shortness of breath.
With all academic stress,my long distance relationship with my boyfriend and the sudden weight gain I was on the verge of getting depression. I was trying to get online therapy and I started to open up about my insecurities with my boyfriend. That’s when I found the motivation to write down my problems and try to find solutions instead of complaining all the time.
Weight loss – In the Beginning
If you have the will, there’s always a way! That was my motto in the beginning.
During this period I never hit a gym or starved torturing my body and soul.
In the first few weeks my weight loss target was 0.5kgs per week.
The strategies I used were,
- Minimising calorie intake to 1200calories per day (I used a calorie counter app to find this recommended calorie intake)
- 30-40 minutes of moderate exercises 5 days a week
- Increasing my water intake to 4-5l per day
I highly recommend buying yourself a digital weighing scale where you can easily check the weight in the morning and night. At the very beginning it was hard to see a single digit not going down.
But I kept my mind energy high and always started admiring the figures of super models. I admired their confidence even when they were wearing a potato sack. I noticed how their figure has helped them to obtain that personality. I do not condone body shaming but I cannot accept being overweight or obese as many health issues arise due to this.
Personally the best advantage I received was psychosocial improvement in my life. But I have many experiences with patients who have fought diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and ischemic heart diseases simply with dietary modifications and regular exercises.
What I ate during the first few weeks
Trust me, the first few weeks are going to be very difficult. You have to completely stop junk food, fried food and high sugar items. You have to have a good self control and a motivation to do this. In my weight loss journey all first few weeks were dedicated to building a good mindset.
A strong mindset is the key to stop all the high calorie junk food.
Breakfast – 1 cup of chickpeas/ cowpeas with ½ teaspoon of butter with onions, tomato and green leaves
or two egg omelette with vegetables
or whole grain bread sandwich with fish/ chicken/egg
Tip : I didn’t push myself to eat the same thing everyday. As long as the meal was 300-400calories and balanced with all nutritions I ate it.
Lunch – ½ cup of rice with lots of vegetables and( fish 500 calories)
Tip : Do not cut off oil 100% or deep fry and eat. Instead stir fry your fish/ chicken with adequate spices to make it palatable. Do not torture yourself with tasteless food.
Afternoon snack– Handful of Nuts or fruits or non fat yogurt
Somedays I cheated this with 1 small chocolate bar( Mars 33g) with black or green tea
ps : rewarding yourself once in a while helps to keep up your motivation and continuation.
Dinner – Any type of salad (300calories)
Tip: Always have your dinner before 7pm. Go early to bed around 9pm-10.30pm. So you don’t feel reflux symptoms or urge to eat at night. Drink plenty of water until you get to bed which helps to keep your stomach full.
After two months I started 16:8 intermittent fasting to obtain 1kg weight loss per week. I did this 3 days a week mostly from Friday to Sunday.
My eating window was from 10.30am to 6.30pm.
Self control was the key to success and documenting my improvement weekly kept me going.
Tip: If you find that your dedication is low, try writing a food diary and an exercise diary with your daily weight on top in big numbers!
Exercises during my weight loss journey
I did 30-60minutes of moderate exercises 5,6 days a week.
According to my mood I did aerobics, yoga and muscle strengthening at home. For this all you need is a 5-15kg dumbbell and a yoga mat.
The key to my success was pushing my mind rather than my body. I made up my mind to the extent where I find it difficult to fall asleep without exercising at least for 20minutes.
Tip: make sure to do exercises for your face and neck at least for 5minutes, so that your skin doesn’t age with weight loss!
Weight loss is a difficult task if you don’t have the correct mindset. The day you start pushing your mind it becomes easier! So instead of torturing your body start pushing your mind for that most rewarding transformation in your life!