UAE fitness: A personal weight loss journey
Dubai-based Mansha Thawani’s first person account of losing 28kg in six months.
The year 2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges, frightening fatality statistics and general negativity. But there will always be a brighter side. It was the year that I challenged myself to lose weight and follow a healthy way of living. With my mother’s and family’s unconditional support I lost 28kg in 6 months. In March 2020 I turned 40 and realised that women become WISER AT 40. I was born and brought up in Dubai, am a mother to a 12-year-old daughter. I love Dubai life which offers mouth-watering cuisines from all over the world, a temptation you cannot resist. Being 5 feet 7 inches I weighed 94kg; I loved my food and watching TV on the couch. The restricted movement during the pandemic added a few more kilos to my weight. Then in August 2020 I realised that I am a different person, my clothes no longer fit even after a few alterations. When I walked I felt heavy and tired, and this feeling was a wake up call.
Going on a diet
I conveyed my feelings to my mother who was confined in India due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. She supported me and planned a diet for me to lose weight — thanks to video calls and messaging platforms which facilitated receiving an everyday diet plan with recipes from her. From my side I had to share pictures on a weighing scale twice in 24 hours, in the morning after getting up and at night before sleeping; more than my picture she was interested in the double digit on the scale! I followed a diet with smaller portions eaten at fixed timings. I had a variety of food but the key was limited portion size and meals on time. I also gave up tea which I loved but I used to like it sweet so I stopped and even now I don’t drink any caffeine products. It was difficult to give up tea as I had severe headache initially but now I am used to it and I feel better without consuming any caffeine products. I also have not consumed any sugary products like sweets, chocolates etc., since August 2020.
In January 2021, after shedding 28 kilos I felt transformed, my confidence level improved and my stamina is better today.
A tough journey
The journey wasn’t easy particularly when you go out socialising on weekends and occasions and you have already finished your dinner at 7pm and you are up till 1am not eating anything. There was social pressure in gatherings but I was able to sustain and stick to my pattern. My family supported me especially my husband who was able to convey my weight loss target to our hosts and requested them to support me.
Six months later, I am 28 kilos down. This Women’s Day I celebrated with my new self and I felt content that I have achieved my target. I will try to continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I have so far lost weight through diet change and have not done any physical exercise and now in order to maintain my weight and strengthen my muscles I am planning to add physical fitness to my regime. My ideal target weight is 60 kilos and I plan to lose another 6 kilos in 3 months and then maintain the same.
It’s a new challenge on the horizon, but I am going to do it!
Mansha’s diet plan:
7am: Lemon water or warm water with fennel seeds, cumin seeds and carom seeds
8am: Breakfast without any fat content like small portion of idlis, poha (flattened rice), boiled egg white
1pm: Lunch with small portions of grilled fish, grilled paneer, chicken kebab with one Ragi Wheat Bread
7pm: Dinner with lentil soup, grilled soya, mushroom