From weighing 120kg in 2009 to 62kg in 2012, this is the story of how Shreyas Karnad went about gaining a healthy life for himself. His journey is one of relentless persistence, tears, pain, and sweat. And his hope is that this will inspire all those who are struggling to gain health and happiness with exercise and clean eating habits.
It was in October 2009 that I was diagnosed with severe gastritis, kidney stones, fatty changes in the liver, and blood impurities that lead to skin. The reason for all these lifestyle diseases was my weight. At 5 feet 5 inches I weighed 109kg. I was on medication for the next few months, and my weight shot up to 120kg because of my poor eating habits (binging on a lot of junk), until the day came when I started vomiting anything I ate. The doctor informed me that if I wanted to live, there was no option but to reduce weight and body fat percentage, and eat right.
I was only 22 at that time, and it was way too early to be living an unhealthy life confined by tablets and medication.
In the beginning of 2010 I joined a gym, and tried a plethora of exercises along with healthy eating. I gave up meat, eggs, beverages (tea and colas), sweets, sugary/high calorie food, processed/packed food and rice. My diet comprised of fruits, vegetable salads, sugar-free juices, and millets. The exercise regime revolved around more of weight training than cardio, but the result was minimal.
I then decided to hire a personal trainer for a period of three months. This was the turning point in my life.
My trainer asked me to maintain a diary and make note of all that I ate every day. He set me up for a fitness program that included 70% cardio and 30% weight training. Initially, it was a struggle to walk even for a few seconds due to my body weight. However, one day, finally I was able to walk for 4km on the treadmill in 30 minutes. This was the result of relentless persistence, tears, pain, and sweat.
The feeling after walking 4km on the treadmill was incredible. That was it; there was no looking back from there!
Picture for representation only. Photo Credit: Peter Burgess/Flickr
Over the next few months, the treadmill became my best friend and running, a way of life. With every kilometre on the treadmill, I was losing a few grams of weight and gaining a lot of self-confidence along with a positive approach towards life. By June 2011 I was able to run 10km in less than 50 minutes and went from weighing from 120kg to 80kg. I also started signing up for runs longer than 10km
I took around six hours to complete my first full marathon in September 2011. This was without much knowledge about training and preparation for marathons. I found about new ways of training from thereon. I also started including yoga and systematic weight training in my schedule. Additionally, I went vegan for a while and dropped weight further.
Finally, by the end of 2012, my weight reduced to 62kg. This essentially means that I had lost 57kg in three years.
I was off medication now, had a completely new outlook towards life, and with running as a new passion, I had something to look forward to every morning.
Since 2012, I have participated in over 50 running events; most of them in South India and a few in South East Asia. I was also a part of a cycling tour through Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, along with other cycling events.
Picture for representation only. Photo Credit: Joe/Flickr
Currently, I am focusing on running faster in full marathons and exploring the country a bit on the cycle. I also want to graduate to ultra-marathons in the coming year, and my wish list comprises of a cycle tour from Manali to Leh; cycling through all of Western Ghats and the Western Coast; and hiking in parts of the Appalachian trail in the United States; running the Ultra Trail Marathon in Hong Kong; and cycling in parts of Europe over the next few years.
I hope my story serves as a source of inspiration for those who want to lose weight and live a healthy and happy life.
– Shreyas Karnad