Employee Story: How I Found My Fitness Path & Stayed on It
What Made you begin this journey?
I love to travel, and often my friends and I would pack our bags, take out our bikes and head out for long road trips. In early 2019, I was on a trip to the North-Eastern part of the country. We were on an amazing hiking trail and the weather was brilliant. We had walked only a kilometer or so, and I just could not go on. I was breathless and wheezing. I sat that hike out, and insisted my friends go ahead. By the time they returned I had made up my mind.
I would have to do something about by fitness if I were to continue enjoying the things I love. That was the beginning of my journey. The rest is history.
What was your transformation journey like?
It has been fun. I had my ups and downs, but thanks to my trainers, constant compliments from friends, and home food made by my mother, I was able to see the results. My plan was to just focus on losing 1 kg at a time. As soon as I lose 1 kg, I would target the next. So losing 1 kilo didn’t seem as difficult as losing 50 kilos would have seemed. Sometimes it would take upto three weeks to lose just 1 kg, but somehow I didn’t give up. Mostly because I enjoyed my workouts which weren’t restricted to just one kind of activity but a mix of various kinds of training modules offered by my fitness center, including strength and mobility training, weights, dancing, boxing, HIIT, yoga etc. I also made workout partners at my fitness center, which made my workouts more enjoyable.
Did you think you will be able to achieve it, especially in the Post-COVID world with gyms closed? How did you keep yourself motivated?
By the time the first lockdown started, I had already lost 30 kgs. Working out had already become part of my lifestyle and an aspect that I really enjoyed. The lockdown gave me more free time, and although the gyms were closed, my fitness center provided free live online sessions, which I could easily fit into my routine, despite working full time. I used to work out for 2 hrs in the morning and walk for 1/2 hr after my meals on most days.
The COVID-induced restrictions also helped me avoid junk food. So if I look at it this way, COVID helped me lose weight faster rather than becoming a blocker to my goals.
What habits did you have to adopt in order to reach where you are today?
Eating less and working out more. With some research, I could easily find the food which can keep me full for longer duration of time – such as food with high protein and fiber content – instead of food that is heavy in carbs and fat. I did not cut out carbs and fat completely from my diet. I selected a few foods that are tasty as well as healthy, and some which are very tasty and not so healthy. I made a weekly plan with all of these combined to ensure a calorie deficit is maintained.
Apart from working out, I now take stairs whenever it is a matter of fewer than four floors, go for slow walks for 10 mins after lunch and dinner, and make sure I complete at least 10K steps every day.
What are things to avoid in a healthy routine?
Strict nos. There are no strict nos in a healthy, sustainable routine. We can’t just stop the things we love doing forever. It is crucial to find a balance. When we crave to indulge in the things we want, it’s okay to give in to them without guilt, keeping in mind not to overdo it or making it an everyday excuse. Progress is neither achieved in a single day nor will it be lost in a single day. To keep it going throughout our lives, we need to enjoy the routine.
Any tips on how to balance work, life, and fitness routine?
We can be fit by working out as little as 30 mins per day. We can take it out from the time we spend scrolling through social media platforms or binge-watching shows on Netflix!
On days that you just cannot find the time, some small changes like walking while taking calls, quick cardio momentum like jumping jacks or high knees for a couple of minutes whenever possible should do the trick as well.
What advice will you give to people who want to begin their fitness journey?
Being fit is less about working out and more about eating healthy. 1st thing we should understand is food is the fuel to our body, and some foods are fuel to our brain as well. You don’t have to cut out everything that isn’t “healthy”; just ensure you have them in moderation. Never be very strict with your routine. If you do, chances are you will end up giving up on it completely. The quicker we want to lose weight, the higher chances we give up in the middle.
Fitness is a lifelong journey. So plan accordingly. If you don’t enjoy the process, it’s not worth it in the end.
You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them
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