It was 20 Oct 2015 … It wasn’t particularly an extraordinary day by any measure. I started my day with 7 idlis (ahem it was actually 11) and some yummy chutney. I was mighty pleased with myself because I felt like I could eat 3 more! You see, I took a lot of pride in my amazing eating capacity. The usual weekday morning turned into afternoon and I stayed put with my eyes glued to the computer screen. It was the smell of some delicious biryani that interrupted my flow of thoughts and forced me to get off my chair to check what’s cooking. Feeling exhilarated, I said to myself, “Yessss ..Score! Biryani it is! Damn what a wonderful day I was having!”
I worked as a freelance digital marketer. My working hours extended to late nights, often filled with meetings and deadlines and of course stress and binge eating. Hard work and talent got me professional success and the fact that I might be overindulging never bothered me. I was also great at vegging out in front of the TV and watched sitcoms and movies back to back.
I was looking forward to indulge in another sumptuous meal when I had my first high BP attack.
I was rushed to the hospital… enroute, I had what I felt was the most massive muscle cramp in my abdomen. At this point my mind was on paranoid overdrive. High blood pressure had begun to affect my entire body and the severe pain and stomach cramp certainly left no stone unturned to elevate my misery and BP further.
Future Is Mystery
The doctor immediately ordered a battery of tests. After a nail-biting wait, I was given the diagnosis. I weighted a 101 kgs, I had a fatty liver, severe hypothyroidism and some skeletal muscle myopathy which was causing high BP and anxiety!
In just 2 days I went from being really happy about indulging in my next meal and enjoying watching TV to being a severely miserable and clueless 30 year old who was really pissed off at vaguely everything.
For the next 2 months I was on a bunch of pills which had slowly begun to take a toll on my overall well being and mood and my humour began to suck more and more each day.
I found my doctor more calm and affable when I met him for my second consultation. Or perhaps my face reflected the agony and worries about a future I could not control and the doctor made a sincere effort to make me believe that all is not lost. He said, my fatty liver disorder could be reversed in just 6 months! All I had to do is adopt a healthy lifestyle and lose some weight.
His solution was simple and left a deep impact on me. I had not realised until then that my lifestyle and choices could affect my health so severely! I was not sure what changes to make and this called for some research and reference work. I felt a need to step back, to reflect and understand and accept the changes the doctor was referring to. I spent the next couple of months researching diets and various forms of exercise.
There is no dearth of fat-loss solutions online and again and again I found myself thinking that I’d actually attempted most of them. Why then was it not working for me?
It turned out that consistency was the problem – I’d invariably fall off the wagon in a matter of weeks to months.
Today Is A Gift
Today, the fatty liver has disappeared. I’m 68.5 kgs and no more a victim of anxiety or muscle myopathies or BP and have reduced hypothyroid medication to a quarter dose. My unhealthy lifestyle is history, my fear of the future does not exist and my present is Yoga.
The breakthrough came when I started testing another way of thinking. I understood that everything is interrelated and instead of chasing that one big change and putting all my eggs in one basket I rather break it down to small steps and smaller changes in all areas of life. This attitude quickly amounted to significant gains. I was really excited by this approach. Big changes were no longer daunting because the small and easier changes paved the way and helped me lay a strong foundation upon which my big goals could stand.
This is how I made my dream a reality:
It is really hard to out-exercise a bad diet but the key is to make small changes and take one step at a time. I played with changing the composition of what I ate until my body gave me approval signals.
Drinking enough water
The number of times I ate when I was actually thirsty was frightening.
Enjoying the sunshine
This was crucial – I needed to correct years of messing with my circadian rhythm because I worked through the night.
Exercise – I started with walking and within a couple of months Yoga found me. I have been a fan since! Ashtanga Vinyasa and Hatha forms of yoga have had an immense therapeutic effect on me. I follow these in my own practice and enjoy teaching them.
Here is how you could contact Samrat
Website – http://svadhyayayoga.in
Email – [email protected]
Instagram – @samratpasham
Facebook – facebook.com/svadhyayayoga1