There were two reasons Keralite Albert Golden was driven to drop weight: one, his blood tests showed he was headed towards diabetes; two, he was often the butt of jokes.
It’s not that he didn’t have an active lifestyle, says Golden. “I work in a construction company; I used to go to the sites for inspections,” he recalls. However, this movement lulled him into a false sense of security; thinking he was burning more calories and so he could consume more, he would eat whatever junk food his heart desired. At 170cm, in October of 2020, the 35-year-old already weighed 116kg.
When Golden ventured into the gym, he did so with tentative steps. “I’ve tried to go to the gym so many times before and then given up too,” he laughs. And so he got some help. “So I approached a trainer [at my gym] there and took a few sessions – his name is Alton Antony – I just started with him and he gave me a customized diet plan and exercise.”
Having someone who would hold him accountable for straying off the straight and narrow worked well for the expat. “I started with functional training for the first few months – and I ate less carbohydrates. I started to lose weight,” he says. As the pounds dropped off, Golden says, he began to feel more and more confident. He began to visualize himself leaner, more muscular – and so he began to work harder. “When I reached 99-98, I was thrilled, that’s when I knew I could do it.”
The first few weeks were tough on his body, recalls Golden; it was used to good food and little exercise – now the energy was not only being expended but the calories consumed had been curtailed. But, he says, it’s all about mindset. “In my mind I set the goal to lose weight – and that was that,” he says. That said, he does admit to some hiccups along the way. “Many times I told the trainer there is no chance I would be able to go down to 100,” he sheepishly admits, adding that in times like this, trainers and coaches can really help.
So scrubbed out from the menu were things like sugar and starchy vegetables. Portion sizes were picked and planned meticulously. The one consumable that was multiplied was water. “Earlier, my water intake was less than one litre, now it is three and a half litres,” he explains.
Lunch: Protein such as chicken or fish with broccoli
Dinner: One protein shake after workout
Mid meal: Green tea and water
Today, Alden, who is at 84kg, is down 32 kilos. “When I joined the gym, my waist size was 40. Now it is 34,” he says, adding that this new frame has led to a change in his confidence levels, in his ability to interact with people. He adds that he’s more energetic now than he’s ever been. His sugar levels are under control and as for being called ‘thadiya’, which means ‘fat man’, that moniker is a thing of the past.