MY JOURNEY TO WELLNESS
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.