Those who are past the middle age often discourage themselves from adopting a healthier life style by thinking that there is no point in controlling the body weight or following a diet, at this juncture in life. However, Shahida Razzaq, a native of Kannancherry in Kozhikode, Kerala, is truly an inspiration for those who are struggling with weight issues and the countless health problems that accompany it. She is the wife of Malayalam cinema’s favourite screen writer late TA Razzaq, who had penned screenplays of many super hit movies. Shahida works as an LD clerk at the Scheduled Castes and Tribes Development Department in Kozhikode.
Many were surprised when Shahida decided to shed some extra flab at the age of 41. However, she didn’t allow herself to be discouraged by these mockery or criticisms. Instead, she showed her determination by shedding a whopping 12 kilos in just 6 months. Now, Shahida spills the secrets about her fitness for those who are eager to know about her special diet and workout regime.
Shahida has a daughter who is a graduate student and a son who is preparing for a medical course. Her mother too stays with the family. Shahida reveals that she weighed 80 kilos at the beginning of the year. Being overweight wasn’t the only problem that disturbed Shahida. She was diagnosed with PCOD and allergic reactions and experienced severe knee and joint pain while climbing stairs. She was severely tormented by the pain on her knees that it was almost impossible for her to bend down and do the household chores. Meanwhile, Shahida was always aware that her joint pain would be eased only if she reduced her body weight. While doing a bit of research about the various work outs and diets in the internet, Shahida stumbled upon the popular weight loss group managed by Anju Habeeb on Facebook.
From February onwards, Shahida became a member of the group. “As I was already informed about the various weight loss regimes and plans, I was well prepared while joining the group. I swiftly lost a kilo after I gave up sweet and fried snacks. This helped me gain confidence. As I became more active in the group, I got new knowledge about what should or should not be eaten, the nutritional values of various food items, and the amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates that your body requires. They would even advise us about the calorie limits that suit our body. The most amazing thing is that we can eat whatever food that we want. However, it should be in limited portions. You should complement it with some physical exercises as well. There is no need to always hit the gym to work out; instead there are exercises that could be easily done at home as well. This helps lots of people like me whose busy schedules don’t allow them to work out at a gym. I began eating more vegetables and salads, and reduced the amount of rice intake. I did exercises using resistance band and dumbbells. So, after 3 months my weight got reduced from 80 to 71,” says Shahida.
Shahida admits that she has become more careful about her eating habits and patterns. As she had earlier tried many diets and then quit midway, Shahida didn’t tell anyone about her latest attempt at weight loss. However, her colleagues had noticed her physical change and began asking when they saw her snacking on sprout grams and legumes.
She says that besides weight loss, all the unwanted fat deposits disappeared from her body after she began following the diet and work out plan. “I was conscious about my tummy fat, so I would only wear salwar and would drape the shawl in a way it covers my stomach. It was my tummy fat that got reduced first, after I joined this group. Besides, my PCOD issues too began getting better. My knee pain and wheezing while walking are all gone. To check whether I still get the knee pain, I would climb the four flights of stairs of a multi storied building. Besides, I would bend down and dust the rooms or wash clothes to make sure that I don’t have joint pain any more. I never thought that I could do all these chores without being bothered by severe joint pain,” notes Shahida.
Shahida begins her day by drinking a glass of hot green tea. Her breakfast comprises of two spoons of oats with some raisins and an omelet made of the whites of 2 – 3 eggs. At 11 am, she would have unsweetened black tea with the boiled white of an egg. For lunch, Shahida would have 100 gms rice, 150 – 200 gms moringa leaves thoran (stir fry), fish curry (mostly small fishes) and mixed vegetable salad. She would have some peanuts, murukku (fried rice snack) or a few biscuits with tea in the evening. After having a glass of fat free milk around 7 pm, she would do her work out for the next half an hour to 45 minutes. For dinner, she would again have oats and egg whites or two chapathis. Besides, Shahida made sure that she drank at least 4 liters of water every day to keep her body well hydrated.
“Now, some people complain that I have become thin and ask whether I have diabetes because of which I have lost weight. But some people appreciate me saying that I look trim and smart. I take all these comments on a positive note. My family supported me a lot, especially my kids. My mother was a bit sad initially when I had small amount of rice. However, it was she who motivated me the most when I actually began losing weight,” says Shahida with a smile.