Obesity : Get Over Guys

(an inspirational true story of my dear friend Sharique in his own words)

Running is not my cup of tea.

·              I have never been a good long distance runner.

·              I have heavy bones.

·              How do I burn my muscles (It’s all muscles..).

·              I have a perpetual knee problem.

·              Weight catches up with age.

·              This weighing machine is faulty.

·              Please reduce 3-4 kilos for my shoes & clothes.

·              It is hereditary.

·              My metabolism is slow.

·              Sportsmen do tend to gain weight.

·              …When my weight went beyond these excuses, I decided that now it is time to do something. And that ‘something’ took another year to be decided. Finally, enlightenment dawned upon me and I decided to seek professional help. My first professional help came from my boss, who had undergone a weight reduction program. He had sought help from a dietician, who was highly touted in the obesity groups for ‘quick fixes’ before the company yearly medicals. Every morning, after cracking a joke on my shirt button, which was ever eager to pop out, he asked me “Did you go to the dietician?”. And after digesting the humiliation, my answer used to be “No sir, will go today”, and that was the end of it. One fine day, just to please my boss, I went and met the dietician.

·              A lady with a no nonsense attitude, she told me point blank that lot of persons come to her for “miracles” before their medicals are due. ‘Was I one of them?’…’No Ma’am, I certainly want to reduce’. ‘Can you religiously follow what will be told to you?’ I replied “Yes Ma’am”. She gave me a hard look and finally the “mantra” was out.. ‘You will have to change your lifestyle’.

·              Number of tests were done and voila!, I was ready for a new lifestyle. The initial day (…will I ever forget them), the diet, the timings and the workouts were excruciatingly painful..more so for my wife, who had to endure my irrational behavior, cook odd meals at odd times and wake me up every morning for my workouts. She stood like Dravid “The Wall” between me and the frustration.

·              I found another motivation in the form of my friend, now popularly known as the “Pied Piper”, who had been like me, underwent a knee surgery, and is now running full marathons, both in India and abroad. He introduced me to a Whatsapp group of avid runners and cyclists. I was obese, I was slow and I was ashamed to post any of my activities in the group. Slowly and sheepishly, I started posting my stats. Encouragement received was phenomenal. Buoyed by the encouragement, I decided to participate in a marathon, and enrolled for a 10 Km run. I puffed and panted, walked half of the route and somehow completed the run. That was the turning point of my life, and I have never looked back since then. With my diet plan, changed lifestyle and new found love for running, I have been able to burn a considerable amount of fat, and continue to do so…. (Did I mention that my wife completed that run 15 mins ahead of me.. by the way, she still does).

·              Whole point of telling the story is that, nothing comes for free. You have to sweat it out. The age old dictum is so true, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war”. However, there is a catch. Overdoing a thing, or doing it unscientifically will keep you busy in nursing your injuries and the result will be a big zero. Your diet and your activities will have to be planned very meticulously. Few words of advice are :-

·               For morbidly obese people, professional help is a must. One must have to accept that he/she is overweight or obese. And, for God’s sake, do not become a google dietician.

·               Correct and timely diet with a good amount of water intake, and a strict fitness regime should do the trick.

·               Must have a pair of good running shoes. We tend to wear any shoes, including unfit ones, and shoes are the last priority in our yearly shopping list. Go in for a gait analysis, if possible, and start wearing the right kind of shoes.

·               Should have a good fitness tracker smart watch. Most of us have it these days, but mostly use it to count the steps. It should be exploited and used as a major motivating factor.

·               Sell off your treadmill to a person who requires it to hang his clothes. At least you won’t. Go out, go to a park, on the road or to a gym. You will feel awesome.

·               Must give adequate rest to the body before two workouts.

·               If injured, and I mean injured (not tired), do not push yourself, or else that will be the end of it.

·               Move out of the glycogen zone to the lactic acid zone (too high funda..). Basically, your workouts should include combination of both aerobic and anaerobic activities.

·               Encourage your entire family for some physical activity. This will help you spending time with your family too.

·               Do join a fitness group. It is a big motivator.

·               Your efforts will plateau sometimes. Do not stop. Fight it out. Remember…consistency is the only key.

·               Your life should not revolve around only fitness. As you start losing weight, your conversation with others will tend to be only on fitness. Avoid this. Let your stats do the talking.

·               Choose your blend of motivators. I had a few in the form of my wife, my boss, the Pied Piper, running group, my shrinking waistline and the body weight.

·              I firmly believe that if I can do it, you too can. You just have to understand the opportunity cost of your excuses. The thoughts penned down are applicable to all, specially to the corporate professionals. Sedentary life, coupled with long working hours and high stress levels is taking the toll. Alarm bells should ring. It has been statistically proved that a healthy lifestyle and the concept of wellness increases productivity, reduces absenteeism and promotes gross organizational happiness.

·              Do not procrastinate. There is no tomorrow. Start feeling good about yourself. Motivate three people with your resolve and actions, and the world will be lot fitter and happier. Happy Running and Weight Loss