Indian student, Arpita Agarwal, aged 20, endured lots of bullying for being overweight. By the time she hit her highest weight at 96 kg (about 15 stones), she decided to make major lifestyle changes and dramatically lost 42 kg (about 6.5 stones) in just six months.
Sharing her weight loss story on Facebook with before and after photos, Arpita claims the jibes and taunts for her being overweight and fat actually became an inspiration and motivation to make the changes she made to achieve her weight loss.
Agarwal tells Times of India about her weight loss and says:
“My lowest point was when I couldn’t even walk properly because of my weight. I couldn’t fit in my own clothes and got embarrassed when the shopkeepers would say that my size was not available.”
Arpita’s change triggered when she hit her highest weight and recalls how the abuse got to her:
“When I reached my highest weight, which was 96 kilograms. I was often bullied for my weight and the constant taunts got to me.”
Arpita realised that she needed to make immediate changes because her weight began to affect her daily life. Recalling the worst things that pushed her determination, she says:
“The fact that you can’t wear clothes of your size and people mocking this. Or when you can’t fit in the seat of fun rides. Weight loss is your only way out.”
So, what did this young Indian student do to achieve her great weight loss results and get healthier?
One of her first battles was to address her mental attitude to achieve her weight loss goals, saying:
“Sometimes, we are our worst critics as we tend to over analyse ourselves and get discouraged when we don’t see the results that we are hoping for. You can choose to continue to hate your body, to put yourself down, and to sit around waiting for miracles.”
Discovering this is not the way, Arpita realised she had to put the work into her weight loss regime and have patience, saying:
“But miracles will not happen if you don’t work for them. Weight loss is a journey which requires effort.”
So, Arpita embarked on her determined weight loss journey by making key lifestyle changes in diet and started a regular exercise programme – two of the most important aspects to tackle weight loss.
Arpita’s big change was diet. This, in fact, is the first thing anyone should look at when considering losing weight. What you eat, when you eat and how you eat can make huge difference to weight gain or loss.
She made changes like “replaced ghee with olive oil” and cut out foods she had no control over and those high in saturated fats, saying:
“I stopped eating out and cut out junk food completely.”
The next thing she did was to start swapping good foods for bad ones in her daily diet.
Example foods Aprita started to eat included, “Oats, buttermilk, bread with peanut butter” for breakfast, “Chapati, daal, buttermilk, dahi (natural yoghurt) and salad” for lunch, and for dinner, “Soup, daal, brown rice and salad.”
For snacks, she adores eating low-calorie Oatmeal bars.
However, Arpita did indulge a little on her cheat days when she ate “Chinese food, pani puri and ice cream.”
The next step for Arpita was exercise which is required if you are serious about weight loss.
One of the first and easiest forms of exercise Arpita started to do was she “started to walk a lot.” It wasn’t simple for her as she recalls:
Walking is free and can be done at any time and anywhere. Ideally, 30 minutes to an hour of daily walking can assist your weight loss.
After joining a gym, Arpita says she began to follow an exercise routine with different types of exercises in her regular workout:
“15 minutes of cardio, 1 hour of functional training, weight training and CrossFit. It includes burpees, jumping jacks, plank walk, plank jumps, plank and lunges.”
In order to avoid getting bored of the same exercises Agarwal highly recommends variety:
“Try mixing up your workout to have some fun. Don’t stick to your boring old routine.”
Exercise is a key aspect of the regime to achieve weight loss but you always need to inspire yourself and remind yourself why you are doing it. Arpita addresses this by additional inspiration and says:
“I always inspire myself by looking at fitness videos. For weight loss, I followed many of them.”
“I remember how much being overweight affected my health. It was a task to walk, to find clothes of my size and to do everyday jobs with ease.”
Losing weight can be challenging and motivation is a key aspect of the challenge. Arpita says:
“Every time you lose focus or motivation you need to think of the struggles you’ve faced before as well as where you dream of being down the line.”
Arpita’s self-inspiration and reminders of overcoming her weight of 96 kg kept her going. Her daily commitment to herself echoed in results:
“A little progress each day adds up to BIG results!”
Arpita concludes that if you are serious about weight loss, you have to be ready to battle and work hard, saying:
“It takes waking up in the morning, tired as hell, and pushing yourself to go running.”
“It takes choosing a salad when your family is eating Mcdonald’s.”
“It takes small portions, and endless amount of water bottle refills.”
“It takes sweaty shirts and heart-racing workouts.”
“It takes dedication, passion, and motivation.”
“You chose what it is that you want in life. Because at the end of the day, only you can determine your destiny.”
As to continuing with her newly found self Arpita says in 10 years time, “I see myself healthy and as long as that, I am happy.”
Despite losing her weight and feeling much better about herself, she still feels you should be proud of your body and who you are as a person. She wrote an inspiring message in a Facebook post saying:
Body shape & weight
We all come in different shapes and sizes. We all have our own insecurities.
I used to be obsessed with comparing my weight to other people’s.
But we all have different factors that affect our weight. Such as height, muscle mass, breast size, time of day, water retention.
Your weight does not equate to your health, or your beauty, or your worth.
Don’t obsess about weight gain or loss. Don’t let a scale control how you feel about your body.
You should be proud of your body for all the things it allows you to do! Don’t let a small thing like weight, height, body fat cause you to hate your whole body.
The way you look does not change who you are as a person.
You are absolutely incredible the way you are now. Your uniqueness is your beauty
Arpita has shown with her story that trigger of getting bullied led to a positive change in her life and most importantly she did this for own better health and well being.
In no way does this story condone the bullying or abuse Arpita received for being overweight, but the fact that she decided to act upon it in the way she felt best – which was to go on to lose 42 kg in six months has led to Arpita being happy about what she has achieved.