Apr 7, 2009

Counting Calories

Counting Calories

I don’t think I started obsessing about my weight till about six years ago when I returned back from India. I had put on some eight odd pounds and it became obvious when the jeans I had left behind were too tight and my my T-shirts were too tight for comfort. Fortunately for me, one of our friends, Dipa Patel, put me on to the 20-min Pilates workout. And boy did it work. I stayed away from all sweet fare except ice cream, ate healthy and started losing 1 lb a week. At the rate of 4 lbs a month I had lost all the extra poundage by the end of two months.
More exciting than losing all that weight was watching it melt away week after week. One problem with losing weight this way is you expect it to work every time. Imagine my surprise when after giving birth to my beautiful baby boy I couldn’t lose 20 lbs in 4-6 months.
By the time my son had turned a year old all I had managed to lose was six lbs, with 14 more lbs to go. I had also realized by then that not only was it harder to lose weight as one grew older, it was also harder to lose your pregnancy weight. Imagine my bewilderment when I started looking around, at the park or the doctor’s office for example, and realized there were moms who had lost all their baby weight within the first six months of giving birth. It was enough to make you want to go on a crash diet and pills.
I had to take a hard, long look at my lifestyle. I was walking at least two times a day if the weather was good as well as trying to squeeze in 20mins of Pilates almost every other day. Then one day it hit me. I had added a lot of pasta in my diet, almost twice a week, not to mention the heavy cream I would put in the sauce to make it tasty.
Tushar, my husband, and I had also started socializing and one night a weekend invariably would be spent drinking wine and eating cheese and sausages with friends. Not a good combination when trying to lose weight.
I had to evaluate my weight issues soon, especially since we wanted to go for another baby. Of course I wanted to get back to my pre pregnancy weight before I got pregnant again.
It helped that I had friends who were of the same mindset as me. Of them, Pam, was the most helpful. We would read different diet books and discuss what the best way to lose pounds fast was. We agreed on the 6-meal diet, which was rich in calcium, protein and fiber. I would eat a boiled egg in the morning with my morning tea, two hours later a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and for lunch leftovers from the night before. Late afternoon I would eat some baby carrots with humus, two hours later portion controlled dinner and then an hour before going to bed an apple or some yogurt.
Now this diet combined with exercise is supposed to boost your metabolism and burn calories. But all that extra fibre and calcium made me gassy. I couldn’t stick to it for more than a month. It did bring me down a couple of lbs but nothing significant.
The obsession with losing pounds was getting to me. I would check my weight three-four times a day; try to do push-ups and crunches between meals, at night while watching TV and any chance I could get. I would be happy if I lost ½ a pound and worry myself trying to figure out how I could have gained 2 more pounds in a week. A friend brought up the possibility of water weight. It put me on a diet of celery which is supposed to be diuretic. But no matter what I did, the scales weren’t budging.
Finally, I decided to join a gym, started eating regular, healthy meals and cut down on my wine intake over the weekend. Gradually, the scales began inching down. It took me almost a year to lose the last 10 lbs but I was happy. I had done it without any crash diets or pills and although my weight loss was gradual, it was worth it. I was more toned and sculpted, felt healthy and had a lot more energy than before.
But all good things must come to an end. A couple of month ago we went to visit our family in India. I came back six lbs heavier. I am back on the treadmill again and the scales are moving really slowly this time. But if I did it twice, I can do it the third time. Hopefully, this time it won’t take another year.

1 comment:

  1. Sharmila from AtlantaApril 21, 2009 at 9:01 PM

    I am completely n sync with your weight loss woes - losing weight takes a lot of work and keeping it off needs a lot of lifestyle changes. I found that instead of going on any of these diet solutions out there it is better to do some trial and error with changes of eating habits and exercise routines to find something that you can stick to without feeling like it is too much work.


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