For 24-year-old Danish Ahmed, a holiday filled with delicious meals suddenly lost its flavor when he stood on the weighing scale and the number that it finally stopped at was 108.3kg. “I was honestly shocked,” he tells Gulf News in an interview.
Then, in June he heard about a wedding in October in his home country of Pakistan, where his family members – near and extended – would show up. He was determined not to go back with the extra layers of fat.
First things first, he joined a gym near his house. [He had seen another cousin getting results with his time on machines and thought he could emulate his success.]
“So I joined the gym at the end of June or the beginning of July. My trainer was good. He said a lot of people when they focus on weight loss they focus on cardio; he said don’t only focus on cardio, focus on weight training also.”
Ahmed ended up undertaking 75 per cent of cardio, and 25 per cent weight lifting.
The trainer also gave him a diet sheet – which turned out to be a huge problem; it wasn’t customised; it didn’t take his tastebuds into account. “Following the diet plan was difficult for me because it said eat salad, or don’t eat rice. Only eat chicken, meat, stuff like this,” he recalls.
Stumped, Ahmed devised a new way to deal with things. “What I did was stopped eating fast food, because earlier every single day I used to order like a chicken burger, or shawarma. So I stopped that. I stopped drinking cold drinks or juice. Whatever I ate [was] home-cooked,” he says. Oh – and this is crucial – no sugary drinks.
“[On] a typical day, I used to wake up at 10-11am; I used to eat 2 boiled eggs. Then in the afternoon I used to go to the gym for 2-2.5 hours. And eat three boiled eggs [for lunch]. In the evening, I used to drink a cup of green tea and then at night I would eat the usual home-cooked dinner.”
This meant curries were ok, biryani was alright – anything his mother cooked was on the menu. Still, Ahmed lost weight – a total of14 over 3 months. “The first month I lost 5kgs, the second month I lost 4kg and in the third I lost 4kgs,” he says.
However, Ahmed’s is also a cautionary tale: He may have lost all this weight, but then came a disaster for his fitness regime. His gym shut down. The other affordable one is far away. He entered the rat race. He is also studying.
All this has meant a lagging behind in looking after the self; what it’s meant is gaining 6kg since January. But he’s eager to get his healthy ways back. It's possibly why he's sharing his story - the message is just this: Don't stop.
This is part one of our weight-loss success stories from the UAE. Have you undergone a transformation? Would you like to share your story? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org