women

He transformed his shape for the sake of his family and future

Suryakumar Raja blames heredity for the 123 kilos of blubber he sported just 2 years ago.

“Dad weighed 150 kg, my brother and sister are equally obese. My family tree is filled with people suffering from high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart problems. I didn’t want to end up like them, taking scores of pills every day.”

Description: Suryakumar Raja blames heredity for the 123 kilos of blubber he sported just 2 years ago.

Suryakumar Raja blames heredity for the 123 kilos of blubber he sported just 2 years ago.

Yet a day came when Raja got so fat that I couldn’t bend down to tie my shoe laces.” Lethargy held him in a bear hug: I didn’t even want to get up for a glass of water. I couldn’t carry my own weight around without stopping several times to catch my breath. Buying clothes was an exercise in embarrassment. They don’t make that size of clothes. I had to get them custom made.”

The tipping point came during a vacation in May 2010. My whole family had gone to the village. I stayed back because of severe back pain. I was told excess weight was causing the nerves to press against my spinal cord. I was in so much agony that I lay on the bed 24 x 7 ondering what would be my fate when I got older and more disabled, and worrying about my teenaged children. I wanted them to have a healthy lifestyle, not follow my foot steps.”

It was this nagging fear that finally forced the film producer to consider weight loss seriously.

The change

At first Raja toyed with the idea of bariatric surgery and even consulted a specialist in 2009. But I dropped the idea after learning about the risks involved.” He came to the conclusion that “the slow and natural process was the only way to achieve a healthy weight loss. A lot of hard work and dedication was needed and I was ready to give it my all.”

Description: He came to the conclusion that “the slow and natural process was the only way to achieve a healthy weight loss.

He came to the conclusion that “the slow and natural process was the only way to achieve a healthy weight loss.

The exercise

For a couple of months Raja tried to do it on his own. He cut down on his intake, went for daily walks. The 3 kilos he dropped proved to be a pinprick on his 123-kilo frame. Raja realized that without expert guidance head be browbeaten by constant setbacks. Raja joined Talwarkar’s (Bandra) gym in December 2010. “On the first day I spent 10 mins on the treadmill. Those 10 mins felt like 10 hours. What have (got myself into! I thought. And then the dismaying realization came – 1 will have to do this every day of my life!

Description: He cut down on his intake, went for daily walks.

He cut down on his intake, went for daily walks.

“When I finished I was so exhausted I was ready to fall.”

“Every workout ended like I had climbed a mountain. There would be an immense ache in my thighs.”

In the ensuing weeks however Suryakumar realized that the aches and pains were slowly disappearing. As he gained in strength and stamina, he started to enjoy his routine. A day came when he was putting 1 hour 30 mins at the gym. “By the end of the session my clothes would be drenched in sweat.” He describes the feeling as “rejuvenated and relieved of all stresses.”

Description: A day came when he was putting 1 hour 30 mins at the gym.

A day came when he was putting 1 hour 30 mins at the gym.

Today Raja religiously works out 6 days a week in the evenings, for 2 hours from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, sacrificing family time. A personal trainer keeps him motivated. I’m trying to build muscle tone so that the flesh doesn’t sag after weight loss.” Cardio is not neglected. He devotes 20 mins to the treadmill, 10 mins to the recumbent cycle and 15 mins to the elliptical trainer.

A full body massage every 10 days banishes “any residual aches and pains.”

The diet

During his weighty heydays Raja lived on a daily diet of chicken nuggets, chocolate bars and cola. “Alcohol sharpened my appetite. I could put away biryani servings meant for two people”

A meal fit for raja

On rising (7 AM) 2 glasses of warm water with 3-4 drops of lemon juice or 1 tsp fenugreek seeds soaked overnight + 3 almonds + 3 walnuts/ dates.

Breakfast (8.30 AM) 1 cup green tea + oatmeal porridge or 2 slices whole wheat / multigrain bread with low fat butter/cheese or veg omelet or 1 or 2 egg-white omelet.

Description: 1 cup green tea

1 cup green tea

Mid-morning snack (10 AM) Fruit smoothie with low fat yogurt or skim milk or 1 glass of skim milk with 1 juicy fruit (apple / pearl orange) or 1 bowl papaya

Lunch (1.30 PM) chapatti (wheat-soy mix) + 1 big bowl sabzi + 1 glass low fat buttermilk

Mid-afternoon snack (4.30 PM) 1 cup green tea + 2 small khakras or 1 small bowl roasted channa or sukha bhel (without sev and purl)

Pre workout (6.30 PM) 1 fruit or sprouted moong bhelor 1 granola bar or 2 idlis with sambar (no chutney)

Post workout 2 boiled egg whites or 1 glass low fat buttermilk / yogurt

Dinner 1 chapati with 1 big bowl chicken curry (no coconut) or 4-5 pcs of roast chicken + 1 medium bowl dal+veg salad.

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