Palakkad-native Preetha, based in Abu Dhabi now, was disheartened when the constant refrain from friends was that it was futile to try and get rid of post-delivery flab on the body.
But Preetha, whose bodyweight grew to 72 from 54, was not one to go down. She reduced 14 kg in three months and turned ever more fit.
Preetha said her bodyweight was 54 kg in 2014 and it was normal till her first delivery. She had mild weight accumulation after that but a regular visit to the gym eased it out.
But after the second delivery in 2018, she put on a bit ‘too much’ weight, in her on words. The leap from 56 to 72 was quite quick.
Preetha says there was a bit of body-shaming too. People, mostly friends, would tell her that the weight gain was irreversible.
The gym conundrum
Preetha said her husband was against the idea of hitting the gym again as there was no one to take care of the children. Her disappointment grew as she could no more wear small and medium-sized garments.
The body was suffering terribly, too. A doctor whom I consulted for knee, limb, and back pain advised bodyweight reduction. I understood that my lean lower body could not carry the weight of my upper body. The pain kept growing and I found it difficult to place my feet on the floor as I woke up each day. Weight balancing on legs also became an issue.
Fitness and fat loss
Preetha’s husband wanted her to check out Anju Habeeb’s Fitness and Fat Loss group on Facebook. “I was by then convinced that I needed hard training and workout, including weight training, to reduce weight,” she said.
But her husband, who had already read up, said some dietary restrictions and a 30-minute workout regimen at home could make a difference. I joined the group with a lot of scepticism but, as it turned out, it was the best decision, she said.
A sea change
Preetha joined the group on June 17 and she now vouches for the programme. She said the diet and workout on the group were just perfect. “The diet was not too restrictive. It asked us to be on a diet by having the foods of our choice,” she said.
She said the food could be anything that we had at home. The onus was on the participant to work out an optimum intake quantity.
“It was good advice and really motivating. We were asked to drink lots of water and eat protein-rich food,” she said.
Preetha said she switched to dal, chicken egg white, green leafy vegetables, fish peanut etc. She said she had a high-intensity workout. The workout of each day would be mentioned on the group. There were exercises using the resistance bands and we had to hit a high octane five days a week. There were specific exercises for certain body parts too.
The advantage, she said, was that she could spare 30 minutes for the session even if they were travelling.
She said her weight reduced to 58 kg in three months as she adhered strictly to the group’s instruction board.
Preetha said she had done mostly treadmill-like exercises at the gym. A personal trainer was too costly, she said. But even after her weight got reduced after the first delivery, Preetha was wary of body fat accumulation in places like the thigs. But the group regimen changed it all and the body fat disappeared, taking with it bodyweight as well, she said,
“I started seeing results in one month. I started getting excellent comments,” she said. She said everyone now looked up to her for inspiration. She said the switch to smaller garment sizes were a major achievement. She said her husband was ever supportive and the children too knew that mom was up to something.