Arpita Aggarwal, 20 who weighed 96 kg fought bullying and fat shamers and took charge of her life.
Almost a year later, she's lost 42 kilos. She tells Divya Nair/Rediff.com how she did it.
My inspiration came from a lot of people around me.
I used to watch fitness videos on Instagram and read about transformation stories of people.
I received support from my mother and trainer Ravish Ahmad -- he was the one I looked up to the most.
In May 2017, I was 96 kg.
The greatest challenge was to have the confidence that I could lose weight and change my life. And of course, there were people around constantly taunting me if I could do this at all.
I would have given up easily if it wasn't for the confidence I had after the bullying I suffered. Part of it also came from my love for adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Very early into the journey, I realised that if you treat your workout as a chore, you are doing the wrong workout.
Finding a fun activity is really crucial if you want to stick with it long enough to lose the weight and keep off.
I motivated myself daily by watching fitness videos and learning about new exercises that I wanted to learn. This way I was inspired and did not miss focus from my goal.
I always remember the sadness I felt when I wasn't comfortable in my own body. When I went shopping for clothes and had people tell me that I can't fit in the clothes. Or that were there were no sizes (of clothes) available for me.
Also there were times when I wasn't allowed on certain fun rides because of my weight.
When I started my new lifestyle, I'd remind myself how much it affected my health and how hard it was becoming for me to walk. Or be rejected at stores and being told 'there are no sizes for you.'
I realised that you can choose to continue to hate your body, put yourself down and sit around waiting for miracles to happen.
Miracles will not happen if you don’t work for them.
It takes much more than just miracles to change your life.
It takes waking up in the morning, tired as hell, and pushing yourself to go running. It takes choosing the salad when your family is eating at McDonald’s.
It takes small portions, and endless amount of water bottle refills.
It takes sweaty shirts and heart-racing workouts. It takes dedication, passion, and motivation.
You chose what it is that you want in life. Because, at the end of the day, only you can determine your destiny.
Only you get to decide if miracles exist.
That's how I lost 42 kilos. With a combination of healthy diet changes and workouts.
Here's my diet and workout schedule:
Breakfast: Oats, buttermilk , bread with peanut butter
Lunch: Chapati, dal, buttermilk, dahi and any green vegetable, salad.
Dinner: Soup, dal, brown rice and salad.
On cheat days, I indulge in Chinese food, pani puri and ice cream.
We all come in different shapes and sizes. We all have our own insecurities.
I used to be obsessed with comparing my weight to other people’s.
But we all have different factors that affect our weight. Such as height, muscle mass, breast size, time of day and body's ability for water retention.
Your weight does not equate to your health, or your beauty, or your worth.
Don’t obsess about weight gain or loss. Don’t let a scale control how you feel about your body.
I learned that having body fat is normal!
Sometimes I'd look lean and have abs. A few seconds later I'd look completely the opposite of that! And that's fine!
Because we constantly see images of lean, toned bodies, we sometimes forget that simple things like bloating and tummy fat are completely normal things to have.
There's nothing wrong with body fat and you shouldn't be ashamed of it. I'm also not saying there is anything wrong with posting photos where you feel good about your body.
If you feel confident, you should post those photos.
I just want to break down the barrier that you don't need to look "perfect" all the time. That's not what everyone looks like 24x7.
It was my trainer who told me that getting a good workout doesn't mean you have to spend hours doing the same thing all the time.
Mix it up! Try activities that you love to do or activities that are new to you. That keeps your interest for fitness.
Post my weightloss people are looking up to me. I get 100+ messages everyday from people telling me how much I am inspiring them. It fills my heart so much.
I feel so happy that people could relate to my struggle and that I could help them .
Tips for readers
A little progress each day adds up to big results.
Sometimes we are our worst critics. We over analyse ourselves and get discouraged when we don’t see the results we were hoping for.
Since we see ourselves every day, our progress can go almost unnoticed and the changes won’t seem that drastic.
While you are on this journey, it's important to not lose focus and keep yourself in check both mentally and physically.
Have you recently lost weight? We want you to share your weight loss story with us.
Share your detailed diet plan, tips and advice with our readers.
Earlier in the series: How I lost 20 kilos in 4 months