It all began with the intent of developing a healthy atmosphere.
At the age of 35 she lost 10.5 kg in just 6 months.
Damayanti Dutta, who is the mother of a two-year-old, gave up her job to look after her son. All mothers will relate to this when we say, it is close to impossible to dedicate some time to yourself when you have a toddler running around the house 24/7. This included erratic meal timings, no exercise and consumption of a lot of unwanted foods. Together with her husband, she wanted to create and maintain a healthy environment for their child. He introduced her to HealthifyMe to help speed up the process of getting healthy, which Damayanti had already commenced by setting a personal goal and working towards it.
After a rickety start, Damayanti met her coaches, Priya and Nahida, who struck a chord with her almost immediately. With their constant encouragement ‘it was time to pull up my socks and get started on my journey to a healthier life’, as Damayanti would put it. Adding to that she says, it felt good to be held accountable for something because it kept her motivated to give it her all and stay on high alert only because there was someone to check on her activities from time to time.
“No one likes being reprimanded, whatever be their age”
What Damayanti liked the most about her coaches was their way of telling her what not to. “No one likes being reprimanded, whatever be their age. Priya and Nahida always followed a very positive approach when they had to tell me what I was doing wrong or what I shouldn’t be doing”, says the mother who was given the hall pass to indulgences but was asked to keep them restricted. For starters, she also liked the minute problem solvers that her coaches gave her from time to time that helped her understand that no mistake is too big and there is always an alternative for everything e.g. if you missed out on your workout make sure your body gets some level of exercise by going for a brisk walk.
“I would bake anything from cakes to pizzas”
When one stays at home they have access to all sorts of foods and is a health hazard especially when there is no time to dedicate to oneself. This is exactly what happened with Damayanti, due to her erratic eating schedules she would resort to eating whatever was available, in the free time that she would get, and being a foodie the first option would be junk food. Thus, resulting in her weight gain. Nahida, her diet coach helped her eat healthy and brought about a change that no one would ever think of. Her diet was changed to one which had zero fats and carbs but high fibre and protein. On adopting this diet, Damayanti noticed that she was feeling fresh and full of energy. This motivated her to explore her boundaries and find a baker in herself. “I would bake anything from cakes to pizzas without refined flour and sugar. All I did was substitute it with wheat flour, ragi, or suji and used jaggery instead of sugar and voila, guilt free healthy treats were produced!”, says the enthusiastic home baker.
“If you hate salads, Nahida is whom you should be speaking to”
Being a non-vegetarian Damayanti was asked to keep the consumption of red meat to a minimum. Being the explorer that she is, while on the lookout for a healthy mutton curry recipe she stumbled across one on the HealthifyMe website and immediately gave good feedback. Her coaches tell us that she was very encouraging and motivating on the group chats. She would also share any new healthy recipes that she would innovate and encourage them to try it out. “If you hate salads, Nahida is whom you should be speaking to. I say this because I was someone who would run in the opposite direction on seeing a salad. But now salads are the one thing I love to eat. I can practically live on them”, says Damayanti. Nahida insisted that she ate as much fruit as possible in their natural form instead of juices since the former gives you a higher fibre content. “She was so dedicated to her diet that she requested me to prepare a plan that would suit her holiday plans as well”, Nahida tells us. This just shows us that Damayanti was on a mission to change her lifestyle to a healthy one while losing weight.
Fitness coach Priya, gave her a tailor-made workout routine that enabled her to ease into the habit of exercising daily, keeping in mind that she did experience some fatigue and breathlessness when she started working out and the fact that she couldn’t go to the gym because of her son. Starting with brisk walks once or twice a day Priya gave her basic body weight exercises in addition to the workout she was already doing. This was followed by cardio, strength training for post pregnancy along with strengthening the core while increasing the intensity of her workouts periodically. She was so particular about not missing her workouts that the first thing she would do while planning her holiday was, look for a gym in the vicinity. Priya also tells us that when she talks to Damayanti, even today she shares her workout stories and still logs in her activities.
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Setting a target to get back into shape for her son’s birthday, the constant encouragement that she got from her coaches helped her get close to her goal if not reach it. “That doesn’t bother me, the fact that I could see the changes happen visually even though they took time was totally worth the wait and efforts”, says Damayanti. She moves on to tell us that her husband was the main motivating factor apart from her coaches. He also started eating healthy and working out, that brought about a sense of competition amongst them thus, motivating them to stay on track if at all either of them missed out on a workout session. Their motto all through the journey was ‘To set a healthy example, you have to be healthy yourself’.
The moment of truth was revealed when Damayanti went and bought a dress that was an M as opposed to an XXL which used to be her regular size. And the cherry on the icing, according to her, was that she was able to wear the dress with a pair of stilettos for her son’s birthday. She also noticed that her skin felt and looked fresher than before and her hair had gained back the lost lustre. All in all, it was an experience like no other, and she credits all her success to her two coaches Priya and Nahida, who were more like friends.
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