Surat resident Chaitali received a rude shock when she was admitted to a hospital mid-last year, and was diagnosed with diabetes. “My fasting sugar level was 400,” says Chaitali, who weighed 87 kg at the time. She hadn’t always been fat but had gained weight due to a hormone imbalance. Her hospitalization, and the fact that the doctor said it was essential for her to “drastically” drop the kilos to bring her sugar levels down, made her seriously think of a plan of action to lose weight.
Living in a joint family, it was difficult for Chaitali to make time to hit the gym. A Gujarati, the food cooked at home was oily and spicy. Working with her husband’s photography business, she travels frequently and found it difficult to maintain a regular schedule.
The app suited Chaitali, whose time and movements were restricted, as she doesn’t need to make a trip to the dietician’s office or gym for advice – she can access the coaches on her phone, and work out to her convenience. As she puts it, it has helped her “lose weight through correspondence.” HealthifyMe fitness instructor Roshini Gilbert, yoga expert Indira Chavva and nutritionists Heena Gupta and Surbhi Sharma worked with Chaitali on her weight loss programme, and she calls them her “guardian angels.”
The experts instilled in Chaitali the importance of leading a regular and disciplined life. “Though my day always started early, at 4.45 am, I would immerse myself in household chores. Roshini forced me to carve some ‘me time’ out,” says Chaitali, who now works out for an hour and 15 minutes in the morning, followed by a one-and-a-half hour walk. The experts have designed an exercise and yoga plan that can be done from home. In the evenings, she walks another one-and-a-half hour, this time with her kids so they get some quality time together. “I take about 30,000 steps daily,” she says, swearing by RIST, a fitness tracker the experts have recommended she wear. “If I don’t wear it, I don’t feel like walking. It motivates me,” says Chaitali, who often walks the 7 km from office to home.
This was perhaps Chaitali’s biggest challenge, as it involved making changes to the family meal plan. Initially, there was a lot of resistance, but Chaitali followed the experts’ advice and started small. “I was asked to cut down on my portion sizes, and include healthy ingredients like soy and oats in my daily diet,” she says. She began by introducing small amounts of oats to the rice-based uttapam batter, switching entirely to oats once the family got comfortable with the taste. “They have now also become used to eating poha without potato,” she says, revealing the impact of a healthier diet is already showing on her husband and kids and that the latter often work out with her.
Chaitali admits the last 10 months have been a huge challenge. “The hardest part is waiting to reach your goal weight, as it is hard work. Roshini led me through that dark period of waiting and frustration,” she says. The biggest reward is that she achieved her goal of becoming diabetes free. “I now do not take any medication for diabetes,” she says, adding that the compliments she receives having dropped sizes is an added sweetener. “Seeing everyone’s jaws drop as well as seeing critics shut their mouth for once and all was a great feeling. Also, I changed my whole wardrobe from conservative to modern,” she says, adding that she could not have achieved all this without Roshini and the HeathifyMe team’s advice and constant motivation.
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Disclaimer: Chaitali achieved her transformation due to dedication and personalized plans. The results may vary for you.