Friday, February 1, 2013

A Success Story

I had come across a Facebook entry from Vijayalaxmi, about her headaches while exercising. I thought it had to be due to a low fat diet. This turned out to be true. Then we started chatting about her health, and what could be done about it. She turned around her diet completely, and now feels much better. Below is Vijayalaxmi about her journey.


I am a 41 year old female and my weight loss journey started in 2003, when I had decided it was high time I shed the post-partum weight. Initially, I started a ‘no white’ diet, which became a lifestyle change for a decade (until a few months back)- I would not eat sugar, processed flour and rice. I ate a lot of vegetables, sprouts and chapattis. I was a vegetarian. I used to workout (yes consistency was my plus point). Things were all fine, until I hit the plateau. So, I started reducing my portions. I stopped having ghee, butter, cheese or any goodies. I lived on fruits day in and day out. It satisfied my sugar urge. I was happy to that extent. If I felt very hungry, I would have tea and biscuits/brown bread, because I thought I got my nutrition from fruits. I would eat rice/chapatti once a week, otherwise no junk food.

The problem I had was, I was beginning to gain weight after a decade- with all the low calorie/natural fruit diet and exercise. Also, I was slowing down on my workouts, until I stopped them, because I used to get pounding headaches. I had migraines (supposedly) for the past 8-9 years. They would recur once a week and as a working woman, who had to manage family and also earn more academic degrees, it was really really tough. Over a period of time I would get headaches even if I walked for 10 mins. My eyesight would blur, I developed dry skin psoriasis and I felt tired and drained all the time.

This was towards the mid of 2012. I was desperately searching for help. My family of doctors and other ‘specialist’ docs passed it on as ‘came with age, will go with age’. Just eat a painkiller to relieve headache (that would mean approximately 15 tabs a month).

It was during this time that I stumbled upon Anand Srivastava, who offered help, which changed my perception towards food and life. He sent me a ppt of his weight loss journey. I could relate to his internal inflammations and I was secretly glad, that I was not the only one undergoing this gradual deterioration. I religiously followed his advice and suggestions, which included becoming an omnivore (it was my personal choice to take his suggestions seriously). Based on his advice, I started eating eggs, poultry and fish. I added a lot of ghee to my food. Anand was encouraging me to add more ghee to my food! I stopped vegetable oils and used a range of oils to cook (peanut oil, mustard oil, gingelly oil, olive oil and coconut oil and of course lots and lots of ghee). I added a lot of vegetables (cooked and uncooked ), coconut and also potatoes and sweet potatoes to my diet- it was like karma, I owed my body all that I had deprived it from. Slowly I started intermittent fasting- 14 hours, 16 hours, 20 hours and now 24 hours.

Within a month, I lost 5 kgs, without any workouts and by eating well. I was 69 kgs then, and now I wobble around 64-65 kgs. Weight loss was not my agenda, when I spoke to Anand. It was actually reducing the symptoms of all internal inflammations, which I think I achieved. Today, I eat healthy and clean, I lift weights 5-6 times a week and I have so much more energy. No more blurring of vision or headaches while doing workouts. My phobia for food is gone. Of course, I don’t eat samosas, bhajjias, murukku or any deep fried stuff (thankfully, I don’t like them). I do eat some sweetmeat every other day.  I am able to bear hunger. Food is not an emergency. I do a 24 hour fast at least once a week- and that’s an incredible achievement for me (previously, I had to eat every 2-3 hours; else I would get a headache). This fasting has reduced my psoriasis incredibly. I don’t know the connection or link, but this is a reality, which I am observing very carefully.

Basically, I have learnt to listen to my body and respect it. I don’t deny myself anything anymore. I am glad; my body is responsible enough to ask only real food. One day, I felt a strong urge to eat bananas (I was a bit depressed) - I just went on a banana eating spree 3-4 at one shot. May be my body needs some nutrient that’s found in banana and I am not able to pick the signal!

The one advice, which I have still not followed, is that of oral supplements. I think it’s a question of time. I am gorging on all that can be eaten, so that my body can absorb all that was denied to it. I am forever indebted to Anand for having shown me the way to a healthy life and helping me regain my energy. I have come to believe that traditional ways of eating are the best, because, most of all that he says is practiced by elders at home (except for the non-veg part). So what started as a weight loss journey has actually become a journey of wellness.

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