“T-shirt size XXL, waist 42. Back in 2018, that was my identity.”
Read the inspiring story of Abhishek Jain’s transformation.
Imagine entering a clothing store and getting humiliating judgmental stares from the sales folks. They used to run their eyes from top to bottom and then roll them wondering what ‘fashionable’ piece of clothing would embrace my body.
Once, when I was shopping with my mom, the shopkeeper abruptly said “iske size ki nahi milegi” on my face. I didn’t even look at my mom and just left the place. Embarrassed, disgusted, and done with battling such comments.
I was always this HEALTHY kid. Eating mindlessly, drooling over fancy-looking meals, and ignoring healthcare advice.
That junk accumulated. Over my body and my mind. At the age of 24, I weighed 114kg. Walking for 10 minutes used to make me dead on my feet. Climbing a flight of stairs was not possible without puffs and blows. My energy was always down and out and I was like a 40-year-old trapped in a 24-year old’s body. Life was pretty messed up.
But nobody was coming to be my savior. I was the only hero I needed. And I took what felt like the hardest first step then. Joined the gym.
It was intimidating. Watching muscular guys lifting weights, making abs, and clicking their transformation pictures. And here I was. Frightened of my own shadow. There however was no option of backing out. So, I started working on my body.
In this journey, I have failed more times than most people even try. I was still eating everything thoughtlessly because I believed I was burning those calories in the gym. That’s what many beginners think, don’t they?
It took three months of ‘no progress on the weighing scale’ for me to understand where I was going wrong. I started paying attention to nutrition as well.
I studied carbs, protein intake, calorie tracking, the importance of lifting weights, and other details that were the key ingredients of the recipe of creating a healthy life. One straight month of doing things right showed me visible changes and injected me with motivation to keep on track. I had lost my first 3 kgs.
And the rest is history. After 13 months, 400 days later, I was 4 sizes down.
In just over 1 year, I managed to lose close to 44kgs. Let me share some of the lessons I learnt, that will definitely help you in your transformation and will help you avoid that mental burnout.
1. Nutrition is the foundation of any fitness journey. You are what you eat. Nothing can be achieved physically if your diet is not on point. Make sure you eat to fuel your body and not to fuel your emotions.
2. Tracking your calories is always a good idea especially when you’re starting out. It will help you to know your portion size and will, in turn, help you understand how much food is too much for you.
3. Increase your protein intake. Protein is the building block of muscles and it makes sure you don’t lose muscle when you are on a calorie deficit. Aim for at least 1.6gm protein per kg of body weight. Include protein in each of your meals.
4. Strength training is very important for your overall well-being. It will help you build muscles. Muscles are gold for our bodies and more muscles you’ve, faster will be your fat loss.
5. Don’t overdo your cardio. The number one mistake people make when they start their fat loss journey is overindulgence in cardio. Excessive cardio can impact your joint health because of the weight you carry and also will lead to muscle loss. In the beginning, limit your cardio to just 10k steps.
6. Sleep is a very important aspect of your fitness journey. It directly impacts your overall progress. The muscles you break in the gym are recovered in your sleep. 7-8 hours of quality sleep is non-negotiable.
7. Do not fear carbs, add them to your diet. Carbs are the source of energy, they will help you enhance your overall performance in the gym.
8. Taking care of your body makes you mentally strong. You will feel like an altogether different person once you start your health journey.
The journey of over 600 days, and counting, has been amazing, with lots of highs and lows. But one thing that kept me moving was that 1 picture of myself that I visualized even before embracing this path. At the moment of writing this, I weigh around 73kgs with good muscle definition and less fat, but more than anything, I feel more alive now. I feel like I can do anything, I can climb any mountain, I can run any race, more than a physical transformation, losing weight and building muscles have mentally transformed me into someone who can take on any hard situation that life throws at me.
Abhishek is a student of nutrition. He has been obese most of his teenage and now after losing over 40kgs he wants to help as many people as possible, who are on the same journey.
He believes nutritious food, some form of strength training, and good deep sleep can solve 99% of your problems. He has written a fat loss guide that has been downloaded by over 7000 people. You can connect with him on Twitter.