In today’s aesthetically charged world, who does not want to look fit and good? Everyone does and there is no harm in wanting and trying to maintain oneself. Yoga, however, works on profound levels. Not only does it help reduce weight but it also strengthens the mental and emotional aspects of your fitness. Read on the story of an inspiring mother, Shweta, who took the daunting task of losing weight after pregnancy head-on.
|Weight||69 Kg||51 Kg|
|Height||5′ 3″||Transformation period||8 months|
When and why did you choose to transform?
I had gained a lot of weight due to pregnancy. It was in 2007 when my son was born. I was not really fat before marriage but pregnancy took a toll on my figure. I used to be bummed seeing myself on the mirror or in the pictures. That version of me is still crystal clear to me and I cannot imagine my new life if it was not for yoga! When I had stopped breastfeeding, I ended up losing a few kilos only to regain later. It seemed like I would always be this fat and honestly, it did not feel good. So I had to transform. This is a time that is challenging for women since they grow out of shape and lose touch with themselves in the sense that they are too caught up in the well-being of the child and not themselves. I was extremely fond of wearing western clothes but my weight wouldn’t let me. Therefore, I decided that I wanted to change. When jogging, gymming, Zumba, nothing of the sort worked on me, I took recourse to yoga.
How was your lifestyle during/after the period when you gained weight?
When your children are born, all you do is look after them, be with them day in and day out. I was caught up with my son for 4-5 years wherein I literally had no time for myself. Taking care of a kid is so taxing that you do not even consider doing anything in your leisure time (in case you get some). Honestly, I used to get so exhausted that the thought of doing something for myself never really occurred to me. So, my life followed a set pattern in those years. It was after my son started going to school that I started jogging. It was then than that the idea of transforming myself and regaining my old self-struck me. I could not live with the same figure for long. So something was to be done on my part.
How did you come to know about yoga? What was your motivation behind taking it up?
One of my friends had been doing yoga for very long and she was able to lose a considerable amount of weight after pregnancy because of it. Her success story motivated me to take up yoga. When I started it, the results started showing in three months which was contrary to what had been happening to me. So, that was another motivating factor. Positive results always help you continue with the remedy you are on.
How did yoga help reduce your weight?
I started with yoga in 2016 and to my surprise, it did more than what all the weight losing mechanisms could ever have. Yoga helps a great deal, especially when it comes to pregnant women who wish to fight a battle with body weight proliferating at a rampant rate and emerge victorious at the end. It regulates hormones that go haywire after pregnancy. I personally had the best time in those 10 months when I rigorously followed yoga every day. I still do it as it makes me feel at peace with myself; physically, mentally and emotionally.
- It’s important to stick to your diet routine. Even today, I strictly abstain myself from eating rice, junk food and sweet.
- Early morning, I have a glass of warm water with 2 cloves soaked in it. You can also simmer cloves in boiling water to make a cup of clove tea.
- Then just before breakfast, I have a digestive biscuit (not the sweet one).
- At 9 AM, I have breakfast which mainly constitutes bread omelet or a parantha with very little oil.
- Then at 12 PM, I have an apple, a guava or an orange or anyone whole fruit.
- At 2, I have lunch which includes, salad with dal, vegetables, and 2 chapatis. After lunch, I have green tea.
- At 5 PM, I have tea with digestive biscuits.
- At 8 PM, I have dinner, it comprises of dal, rice, and vegetables (that are mostly boiled).
- After dinner, I again have green tea.
- I start my day with yoga at 7 a.m. which continues for a stretch of 45 minutes to one hour. Barring Saturday and Sunday, I switch between walking and doing yoga for the rest of the days. First I do warm up exercises; arm and shoulder movements which are mainly to increase flexibility in the body. Following are few of the warm-up asanas that I do-
- Pelvic Tilts
- leg stretch
- Eye of the needle pose or sucirandhrasana
- Easy pose or sukhasana
- Eagle arms
- I practice various types of asanas:
- Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Anulom Viloma
- Surya Namaskar Exercises: Pranamasana, Hasta Padasana, Ashwa Sanchalanasana, Ashtanga Namaskara, Parvatasana
I had left my job because it was not feasible for me to manage the job, kids and the household all at the same time. Initially, I had to be with my son but it became easy after he started going to school. So, the first challenge was to make some time available for myself.
Then, another challenge was cooking different dishes since I could not eat what my family did. It was a really cumbersome job to do and I also used to have guests at my place. But I had no other option but to cook my meal separately. Also, I used to have dinner by 8 which was too early for the rest of the members of my family. Anyhow, none of these factors could deter me from my desire to transform myself.
Did you ever face a low point during your transformation?
Not after I started yoga. But prior to yoga when I used to do jogging, gyming and Zumba and they did not work, it left me disheartened. Furthermore, gyming led to compression of the ulnar nerve found in the elbow, probably because I was deficient in calcium and vitamin D. Even now I can feel the remnants of that injury. All this made me wonder if I would ever be able to shed the extra kilos that I had put on owing to pregnancy. Moreover, Zumba, which is basically an intense workout, had consequences on my knees and elbows. It led to inflammation which is why I had to stop Zumba as well. Those were the days when I contemplated giving up. Yoga, then, was my last resort. It also helped in recuperating with my knees and elbows.
Did you take cheat meals?
I did not cheat on my diet for a period of 1 year when I was focused on losing weight. Not even occasionally, say the weekends. Now that I have become fairly regular and lost some weight, I think I owe myself a few cheat meals.
What advice would you like to give to people?
I believe it’s 70 percent the diet that can bring about change. Doing yoga will only help as long as you have a control over what you eat. It is important to remain wholesome. Eat what you like but in a controlled manner. If and when you are following a diet, stick to it very strictly. The benefits of yoga have been widely spoken of. It adds a pinch of discipline in our lives. I believe it is the best way to transform yourself on multiple levels.