“The fat sister’s fatter sister.”
This is the phrase that was etched into my brain as a child by many family and friends making fun of both my sister, Sweeti, and me for years growing up. (Of course, they were joking). I would innocently laugh along not realizing what effect it had on my self-esteem- until I got older. As a child, almost every Indian girl was chubby with unsightly facial hair, frizzy hair (unless it had oil in it) and finished last place at a 14-16 minute mile run in P.E. in elementary school. Well, not every Indian girl. There were always a select few who were athletic, toned and wore a size “0.” I would ponder this size “0” from time to time while stuffing my face with zebra cakes since I was a size 10 my entire childhood.
I would wonder from time to time as a child: “How was a “Size 0″ even possible; I mean does that just mean you don’t exist?” As I got older, I learned the concept of a size double-0- now, this was even more mind boggling. I finally got sick of the torture of being ‘the fat girl.’ I also got sick of wearing sweatshirts when it was hot outside and carrying a big purse just so I could hide my stomach rolls when I sat down.
My weight loss occurred in multiple stages over many years after extreme dedication, discipline and determination (without ever really stepping foot in a real gym):
- Age 15- The summer between sophomore and junior year in high school, I discovered Tae Bo (thanks to my Mom and her friend at work) and lost 20 pounds (140 to 120 lbs). Of course, I was an amateur and gained it back: Mistake #1: Unable to maintain weight loss.
- Age 24- The first year of pharmacy residency in Columbus, GA- I discovered Insanity (thanks to my sister who unknowingly introduced me to something that would change my life forever) and P90X (thanks to Saumya) and went from 147 (I had gained quite a bit of weight in undergrad and pharmacy school) to 125 pounds and dropped to a size 4.
- Age 25-26- I had moved to Detroit, MI for a second year pharmacy residency in oncology and lived with my sister (more on that later!) where I mastered the art of running and stadiums (thanks to Nazia), new eating habits (with Neha, Tina and Parita) and Insanity Asylum. I had gone from 125 to 112 pounds over the course of 2 years and dropped to a size 2.
- Age 26-28- By this time, I was extremely obsessed (it was all I talked about to family and friends)! I had discovered many workout routines including Insanity Max 30, T25, Turbo Fire, Les Mills, Kickboxing, Boot Camp, Crossfit, OrangeTheory, Pure Barre (thanks to Sejal), Barre3 (thanks to Sheena), Flywheel, ClassPass, Blast and running a mile in 8-9 minutes and my first 5K in 30 minutes (thanks to Nisha). I had dropped down to 108-110 pounds and of course, “The Infamous size 0.” At one point, I even dropped down to a false double 0 during my wedding weight loss to 104 (which I of course gained back my first year of marriage)!
- Age 29-Onwards- I am still trying to figure out a healthy lifestyle change to lose the last bit and the secret to maintain it!
I’m sure you are all wondering by now exactly how I lost the weight. I began writing a book on it a few years back and then somehow never finished, but you’ll see multiple blog posts from me talking about health and fitness lessons I’ve learned over the years and the “How-to’s!”