It’s the little things in life that make a huge difference. At least this was the case for 33-year-old Revathi Unnikrishnan and her weight-loss journey.
After giving birth to a healthy baby boy 11 years ago, the pharmacist was looking forward to going back to her pre-pregnancy weight. But what with Aryurvedic post-delivery supplements, unhealthy living and a fast-paced return to work, the kilos began to pile up. At one point, says Unnikrishnan, she found it difficult to breathe.
Her job requires her to stand for hours on end and comes with shift work, which plays havoc on a person’s biological clock; hunger strikes at odd times, portion sizes tend to be out of control because the body is craving food to turn into energy; junk nosh begins to look like a feasible option. After four years of this sort of self-abuse, she woke up to the numbers 82, which at the height of 5-foot-two-inches meant some heft.
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She realised that for a subtraction of weight, she’d need to make some reductions in other parts of her life. “First I cut out all the fast-food items,” she recalls. Then she cut her portion sizes. Finally, she began to eat at about 7pm every evening, come rain or shine. “Then I’m not eating more fat items, healthy foods only,” she says. “I’m drinking a lot of water.”
The idea of working out elicits laughter. “My work is only work for me,” she explains. Revathi’s lucky break came because she doesn’t really have a sweet-tooth, so besides an occasional dusting of sugar in her tea, she was happy to cut out that weight-magnet. Over a period of a year-and-a-half Revathi had changed; she was leaner, much, much fitter and no longer struggled with her daily tasks. She had dropped 26kg.
This was about four-and-a-half-years ago. Since then, she says, she hasn’t paid too much attention to her diet. But that’s only because it became a lifestyle change.
Today, the Keralite expat is “eating more leafy vegetables, salads” than she once did.
Her rice intake is restricted to the afternoon.
And junk food – well, that’s out of the question.
When asked if this has meant an overhaul for her family, too, she’s quick to giggle. “I used to eat everything when I was a child, so I can’t say anything to [ my son],” she explains.
It’s an adulting thing, one supposes - when little things start to make big differences.