How I killed obesity before it killed me

The psychological impact of being overweight can be far worse that the physical impact

By Talha Rehman

KARACHI: I weighed 12 pounds at birth. To put things in perspective, an average baby weighs close to seven to eight pounds. This was a sign for what lay ahead in my life: an unending struggle with weight issues.

During my teenage years, I was convinced I could eat all the payyas and niharis in the world, and I yo-yoed my way to the gym from 2005 till just last year. I was inconsistent and it showed.

In 2017, I weighed a whopping 128 kilograms and my waist was massive at 50 inches. If you’re wondering how a person gets stuck in this vicious cycle, allow me to explain: the weight gain causes feelings of self-loathing and in return, you stuff yourself with food for comfort. It’s like any other addiction; you seek the very thing that makes you ill.

Eventually, I gave up.

The psychological impact of being overweight was far worse that the physical impact. Depression and lack of confidence broke me from within. I dreaded going to public events or weddings, and stopped caring about how I looked. I didn’t bother dressing up, getting haircuts or buying nice clothes for myself. It simply didn’t seem worth it.

Like any good transformation story, I eventually got a wake-up call that changed my life. In 2017, I ended up in the ER due to discomfort in my chest. Thankfully, it was nothing serious but it was enough to make me want to take ownership of my life and save myself.

In January of this year, I promised to turn my life around but it wasn’t all smooth sailing losing all the weight. I went on a strict diet routine immediately but struggled with settling into it for the first few weeks. Thoughts of cheating came to my mind every now and then but I would tell myself, ‘’Do you really need to eat this or do you just want it?’’

These words kept me going for nine months. When I weighed myself again in October, I weighed 92 kgs. I had lost nearly 36 kilos. But the struggle wasn’t over because by this time, I had developed an unhealthy relationship with food. I feared I had developed an eating disorder because I felt nauseated simply by the sight of food and would therefore not consume enough of it.

At this point, I joined a gym and under the guidance of my trainers at Graffiti Studio, I stopped being scared of food.

Today, I work out regularly with a calorie deficit diet routine, and cycle extensively at least twice a week. My trainer has advised me to take it slow because I have an injured knee and I’m trying my best to not let my weight loss obsession cause any further harm to me.

I weigh 91.5 kgs now and I eat everything in moderation, except sugar. My waist is 33 inches. I feel confident and I try new stuff almost every day. I am curious about what life has to offer and take everything head-on with a positive and healthy attitude.

Ever since I’ve started documenting my weight loss journey on social media, I’ve been approached by scores of people who want a similar transformation journey of their own. “How did you do it?” they ask me, and I have just one small piece of advice for them: you are the captain of your ship and therefore capable of doing anything you want in your life.

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