June 2017 Anamika L Lalwani celebrates her successful journey of gaining fitness while losing weight I stepped on the weighing scale, and a smile flashed on my face. I had knocked off my 25th pound. Ecstatic, I flashed back to the time it all began, 14 months ago. Wellness came to me like an awakening. It was a lovely wintry morning, and we were in Bangkok for a family wedding. My husband and I sat by a flowing river, a beautiful sunrise before us, but my mind was lost in gloom about my obesity. However, this time I resolved to do something about it. I determined that in the new year that had just begun, 2016, I would walk the road to wellness. I have never been a big eater. Yet I had piled on extra pounds. With the passing years, like all women, I collected many reasons to not take care and to put on weight. I had a baby, was working as a CEO, was stressed, had a nuclear family, was setting up a new home, and the big one, Ihad THYROID! With every new excuse, the weight piled on. I had lived the last 20 years with them. It was time to let go of the excuses, and be accountable for my transformation. I had made many unsuccessful attempts in the past. Every time I lost about 10 or 12 pounds, I went back to my old lifestyle, slowly giving up exercise and eating right. My gym workouts, yoga and diets all invariably failed after a short time. My motivation dropped with every failed attempt, and I eventually resigned myself to being fat!This time round, I decided to drop all my past baggage, unlearn all that I had been doing so far and even discard the word, 'weight loss' from my dictionary. I was instead embarking on a journey of wellness for life. This shift in perspective made all the difference. I decided to step on the scale only once in 10 days, and focus more on how I felt. The initial days are always easy. I was hitting the gym six days a week, doing surya namaskars to warm up and keeping my step goals as set on my tracker, every day. After the first 10 days, I stepped on the scaleonly to be shocked. I was feeling lovely and lighter, but the scale was stuck. It was the same story for the next 18 weeks. Every time I stepped on the scale, I descended it with a heavy heart. I was tempted to give up, a thought that seemed so comfortable. “It’s not working again!” I thought to myself. Yet, something felt so right. I was feeling fantastic. My clothes were fitting better. After two decades, I had gone back to playing tennis. “Weight loss is not my goal, wellness is!”, I reminded myself. And that reminder made all the difference. I was on a journey of wellness, and that for sure was happening. I got compliments on the healthy glow on my face. But no one said that I was looking slimmer! Instead, they chorused, "Oh! It’s difficult. One can never lose weight; it’s impossible!”That was like rubbing salt on my wounds. To comfort myself, I binged on chocolates, ate cheese, put dollops of butter on one slice of toast and gobbled a whole tub of caramel popcorn. But after every fall, I picked myself up. And recommitted myself to continuing my wellness journey. After 18 long weeks, my scale started to move to the left. Eventually, after every 10 days, I saw results, which boosted my morale hugely. In two months I dropped two dress sizes. My carefully monitored diet, with everything healthy for nine days, followed by cheat meals on the 10th day worked perfectly. My family appreciated and began to encourage me. The very same friends who said it was impossible to lose weight began to ask me for tips to get fit too. Joyfully, I shared my healthy meal recipes, the exercises I was doing, and above all, how I made it all fun. My tennis games thrice a week, is my time of play as well as my cardio exercise. I work with a personal trainer first thing every morning for six days a week. So my chance to skip a workout is minimal. Also once a week I run for five or 10 kilometers. To race with the breeze kissing my face and my hair bouncing in the wind is a joy. Besides, I plan my meals, and keep a food diary, which I follow to the T! It has not been easy, but the results make it worth my while. With every pound I lose I reward myself with a nice gift, which does not include food. Fitness with fun has become my mantra. Having lost 25 pounds, I can see myself losing all of the 40 pounds I had gained. I intend to continue to walk the road and plan my meals even more diligently. Achieving my goal of wellness is a dream come true, and fills me with determination, encouragement and hope. A lover of life, Anamika Lalwani is an eternal student,a budding writer and aspires to empower all in life.
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