High blood pressure, cholesterol and fatty liver made life a hell for Praveen, a non-resident Keralite working in the UAE, till a few months ago. However, everything changed for the better when the fitness bug bit Praveen, who belongs to Thriprayar in Thrissur.
He is now a different person, having shed several kilos. Praveen reveals to Onmanorama how he overcame his troubles.
“Before arriving in the UAE, obesity did not haunt me. But the lifestyle here and the stressful job had an effect on my body weight. Though I tried my best cut the flab, all efforts failed,” he says.
It was then that the youth went for a routine check-up. This was sometime in early 2018 and Praveen received a warning from the doctor. “Medicines won’t solve your problems from now on. If you continue living like this, be prepared to say goodbye to everything,” said the doctor.
That was a wake-up call for Praveen. “I had been taking medicine for blood pressure since 2010 but my level remained in the 110-140 range. My fatty liver range was six times the normal level. The doctor also said that medicines had to be taken for cholesterol too,” reveals the youth.
“I never allowed anybody to control me and leaving myself to fate was something unimaginable. Moreover, I did not wish my child, which was due to arrive in August, to learn that its father was helpless against fate,” adds Praveen.
At that moment, Praveen decided to change his lifestyle. However, he had no idea how to do that. While he was still undecided, Habeeb Anju’s Facebook post on ‘weight loss challenge’ caught Praveen’s eye.
“I had earlier participated in Hubi’s 10K running challenge but gave up after suffering from knee trouble by the third day,” says Praveen.
However, this time, the youth was firm that he would achieve the target. “Many others in my group were known to me. This assured me that I wouldn’t give up due to laziness,” he adds.
Still, what bothered him was neither the diet nor workouts, but his drinking habit. Praveen had no idea how his regular intake of alcohol over the past 24 years could be controlled. “After installing HealthifyMe app, the first thing I did was to check the calorific value of liquor. That was the level to which I was addicted. However, all my love for alcohol vanished in one day, thanks to the earful I got from Dr Shimna Azeez,” explains Praveen.
Now his blood pressure level reads 80-120 and dosage of his medicine has been reduced. “Fatty liver readings also are below the stipulated range and I no longer take drugs for cholesterol. My weight has come down to 64 kg from 74. All this made a huge difference. Earlier, I used to lose my breath when climbing 3-4 storeys, but now any number of stairs don’t pose a problem,” according to the youth.
His stamina has improved considerably. Moreover, his medium-sized shirts and 32-inch trousers have become loose. “I can really feel the difference,” says a relieved Praveen.
“However, muscle toning still has to take place and the tummy is not yet flat. So, dieting and workouts have to continue. I have never missed these tasks ever since I started them in September 2018,” he elaborates.
However, the youth has not been able to manage his sleep. “Eight hours’ sleep is still a dream. I checked the average during the last three months and found it to be 5.30 hours,” he avers.
But Praveen is relieved as well as elated that he does not touch alcohol now. “For the first time in 20 years, I have kept off the item for such a long period. This is a surprise for me too and is the biggest benefit of the workout challenge,” he winds up.