Fighting stress & weight issues: How Hardik emerged a winner!
Life always comes with its own set of ups and downs- but as long we stand up for ourselves, the ride becomes bearable, if not exactly smooth. But what if you don’t look up to yourself? What if you are unhappy, not with those around you but yourself?
This is what happens with most people who gain weight. Body image issues creep in, and you are unable to fight it out because you are disappointed with yourself.
Hardik has been through this and understands this feeling completely. He had been a chubby child, so when he started gaining weight again, it was “haunting” as he describes it.
But how did it all happen?
Hardik had put in all of his money, mind and efforts to start off a business of his own. Opening a production house had seemed like a viable idea- but things didn’t pan out the way he had imagined.
“It didn’t work out.” said Hardik, “It was a rough patch in my life. We had put in our own money and it felt like all avenues were locked. I felt like too old to start a new career and too young to quit”
Hardik took to eating every time he didn’t feel okay- anything that came in handy, such as chips or biscuits would be his preferred meal during times when he’d try to escape the stress. While he was going through a tough phase, his sister decided to get married, and Hardik felt overwhelmed with responsibilities at home too. “I was not ready for it,”said Hardik, “Especially when I was not doing well at work.”
The best way to deal with a problem at hand is not to pretend that it does not exist- which most people do- but to face it head on. Hardik stood up for himself- and took it as a challenge. Hardik’s friends have been a great influence in his life. As one of his friends suggested, he started referring to YouTube videos & practicing Vinyasa Yoga or Power Yoga. He perfected the poses all by himself as he was determined to be disciplined and switch to a healthier lifestyle.
Another friend of his, a psychologist, suggested effective meditation techniques to boost mindfulness. Hardik realised that most of the weight he had gained was mainly due to stress eating- he was not mindful or aware of what he was consuming- instead he was feeding himself not because he was hungry but because he was stressed.
He shifted to a healthier diet, kept a check on his calorie consumption and practiced mindful eating. “I also started cooking to know what I was feeding myself,” said Hardik.
Alongside working towards his physical fitness, Hardik also went for counseling. “It lets me understand who I really am. A lot of times, we have an idea of who we are and what we are doing- we have our own perceptions. But the psychologist helped me understand who I really am and figure out my mistakes and my strengths.”
Hardik took complete responsibility for his well-being and amazing results followed.
Within a period of two and a half years, Hardik lost a whopping 24 kgs- a result of his sheer hard work and determination.
Apart from switching to a better way of living, Hardik also invested himself in two things that he enjoys- walking and cooking.
He started experimenting with food- he tried different cuisines and baking as well. “It was therapeutic for me,” he said.
Hardik also included walking as an exercise in his daily schedule.
“During the walk, you progress with each step. The speed also increases. That gave me a happy feeling. Walking also helped me think- it’s better to walk, be immersed in your music and think of something positive instead of just lying on your bed”
Music is also an integral part of Hardik’s life. “My friends and I were rock fanatics when we were young, but now we are mature enough to be open to all kinds of music.” Hardik created a band with a friend of his and currently is into alternative and indie music.
Hardik is an epitome of will power- because when the mind has courage, anything is achievable. And at the end of the day, it is really not about sticking to a particular body image- but maintaining a healthy weight and a fit, flexible body. Physical health and mental health are intricately connected. One affects the other. So taking care of both is imperative for optimum health.