Nobody who knew Viji, a native of Kasaragod, had felt that she would ever be able to reduce her weight. Everytime she joined a weight loss programme, she had to encounter cynical comments from relatives and friends. They had good reason for making those statements too. Viji had tried several methods to reduce weight, but none of them turned out effective.
But Viji’s last attempt took everyone by surprise as she lost 15 kg. She reveals her experiences during this phase.
Before her wedding, Viji weighed around 60 kg. She never recalls crossing that figure. “I became pregnant three years after my wedding. As it was a considered a late pregnancy, I was given much care, which reflected on my body weight. From 60 kg, it shot up to 89 kg in no time,” she says.
Viji tried numerous methods afterwards to become normal again but all of them failed. “Magic lemon juice and weight loss videos on YouTube were among the experiments I attempted. None of them had any effect and everyone used to laugh at me. I myself would accepted the defeat,” she says.
The young woman also developed back pain which, her mother-in-law thought, was owing to the obesity problem and asked Viji to attend Yoga classes. But Viji soon realized that Yoga was not her cup of tea and discontinued it.
During this stage, everyone gave up on Viji and relatives who saw her after a long time commented that she had become too obese.
But Viji was still determined to make a difference to her appearance and yet again searched for weight loss tips. During this search, she came across ‘Habib’s weight loss challenge’ and joined the group. “I will certainly succeed this time,” she thought.
Sharing the credit
One advantage of joining the group was that members used to motivate each other. Viji followed all the instructions and was eager to check her weight every month. “I was more anxious than waiting for my SSLC results,” she says.
Initially, there was not much change, but the encouragement from other group members inspired Viji to continue her efforts. “Their support was invaluable,” says the young woman.
The diet in the weight loss effort involved reducing the intake of carbohydrates and fat and increasing the amount of protein. “There was much fat deposits on my hips, so I cut more food containing fat than Habib suggested and took protein and vegetables, instead” says Viji.
Earlier, she loved rice. “I realized the dangers posed by rice while taking part in the challenge and ate just one small cup of rice a day, during lunch,” says Viji.
Moreover, she carried out all the workouts suggested by Habib.
Gradually, Viji realized that she was indeed shedding her weight. “When I started in mid-August, I weighed 89 kg. Except during the days of the floods that month, I stuck to my diet and workouts. After 7 months, I lost 15 kg. Now it seems there has been a miracle in my life. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law who had tried to make me less obese were happy. But the biggest gift for my achievement came from my husband, who said ‘You look beautiful’ after many years,” says the young woman.
Viji’s husband works in the Gulf region and they see each other through video calls and photos. “It was a big surprise for my husband too. He had never imagined that I would lose so many kilos,” she says.
Viji’s next target
Earlier, Viji felt depressed when relatives told that she looked obese. On such occasions, she would cut her food intake for a couple of days. Afterwards, she would go back to relishing her meals. She also consoled herself by thinking, “I am now married and with a child. What is the need to look good anymore?”
But having reached 74 kg from 89 kg now, Viji has set her next target: 65 kg. “I hope to achieve it in 2-3 months,” she says.
All her relatives who earlier made fun of Viji over her weight praise her now. “Old friends wonder how I achieved this. Meanwhile, my mother has cautioned me against putting on weight again. Another surprise was a comment from my father. He is not a person who reveals his mind often but when everyone felt that I looked different now, father said, ‘You have lost all that fat.’ I am now waiting to hear the comments once I reach 65 kg,” winds up Viji.