“I can’t even begin to describe the joy I feel when my 2-year-old jeans and top fit me. Because I have often looked at them longingly as they sat unused inside my cupboard. I have taken them out while going out and later put them back as they would never fit. So imagine my happiness when I am able to wear all my favourite clothes!! It really does wonders to my self-esteem and confidence.” Listening to Sweden-settled Maneesha Thekkoottu who hails from Guruvayoor speak about her weight loss journey will make you understand how much she struggled. Though her husband Manoj used to lovingly call her Sumo Gusti he used to reassure her that she was not fat and that she should eat good food and be happy. Having said that she always felt that she was fat. Finally, in two months she knocked off 8 kilos and a 16-centimetre waistline and regained her lost confidence. Maneesha shared the secret with Manorama readers.
Her father was an invisible source of strength
She gives all credit for this change to her father. She really believes that she was able to achieve this because her father was with her as an invisible source of strength. It was after delivery that she started gaining weight. Maneesha was able to lose all the excess weight from her first delivery only after 6 years. In between her father died. She returned to Sweden in a state of depression. That’s when she chanced upon a fitness and fat loss group on social media. Earlier she used to ignore such groups. But she could hear a voice inside her prompting her to join the group. She was sure that was her father’s voice. Because she was able to maintain her lifestyle changes post her 10-kilo weight loss after joining this group.
When food is a weakness
She again became pregnant after losing weight. For the first 5-6 months she never gained weight. Even the doctors told her not to exercise. And she didn’t do any exercise during that time. Just a walk daily. That’s when Covid happened, which also led to working from home. And her weighing scales touched 86 kilos. But when she came home for her baby’s choroonnu she really indulged in her favourite dishes. When you come home after a gap of 3 years, you can’t expect not to indulge in your favourite food. That’s it, all the weight she knocked off came back. And she was constantly reminded by well-meaning relatives and friends about her expanding waistline. That would stress her out and she would wonder how she was going to eventually reduce all that weight. Her dress sizes became XL and XXL.
Correct lifestyle and the right diet
It was during this time that she rejoined the fitness and fat loss social media group. From that group, she gained healthy lifestyle tips and diet. She could learn a lot of new things as well. Maneesha started regularly following their workout suggestions. There was HIIT five times a week, another workout for the muscles and 1-day rest. She used to do those workouts regularly. This was a great example of how to lose weight without going to the gym as well as to make use of the facilities at home to lose weight.
They would give instructions regarding diet control. She just followed a home-cooked diet. Since she could eat anything, she never felt like she was on a diet. The only thing she did was to watch the calories and make a meal combo of protein-carbo and fat. She reduced her rice intake and increased the side dishes. The right lifestyle and diet started showing changes in her body.
After 2 months, she went from 80 to 72. And reduced 16 cm waistline. But the best part was to wear all the clothes in her cupboard that earlier never fitted her. The jeans which only used to go till her knees started fitting her perfectly. And she had gained confidence and wanted to go out more, which wasn’t the case earlier.
Anxious mother and a brother who constantly reminded her
When she decided to lose weight, her mother, brother and sister-in-law were her biggest supporters. If her sister-in-law told her that she would be able to wear the clothes of her choice, her brother cautioned her against diseases and her mother looked anxious at her weight gain. Once she started doing the workouts and started losing weight, her husband too started encouraging her.
Surprisingly in Sweden plus size figures are no hassle. And therefore she has never encountered body shaming there. But ever since she lost weight they have been asking her how she managed to reduce her belly and other tips. Some have even asked her if she lost weight due to stress. But when she told them that it is all thanks to a healthy lifestyle and diet changes, they are surprised. Currently, she is enjoying her new look. Having said that her extremely fit husband does tease her by calling her Sumo Gusti.