How Giving Up Sugar Transformed Me Physically and Mentally

Don’t lose any more weight Atul, otherwise you will turn into a stick!

Said the gym peeps when I was there. Indeed my mother, and all the other mothers (my tutoring clients) are saying the same thing. Bless the mothers of the world! Back earlier this year around February 2014 I lost 10kgs of weight in about 3 months, and a further 5kgs in following 2 months. So a total of 15kgs in 5 months. I’ve had to change a t-shirt size (from medium to small), most of my old jackets are too baggy now, my face looks sleek and slim, I look more youthful like I 10 did years ago, my belly is practically all gone and I can wear sleek, close fitting clothes now. Not only that but I actually feel healthier, less sluggish and I sleep better!

before and after weight loss

2012 face Vs 2014 face

5 years ago when I left the world of full time work my face looked ballooned and I had a belly. My large face depressed me, and I was really not happy about my belly as I had never had one before, I was becoming a bigger shadow of my past. I was desperate to look like my older, healthier self. For the next few years I tried to lose this weight properly by running or doing cardio work at the gym. I was slowly accepting the fact that as I was progressing through my 30s, this weight gain was something totally out of my control and an inevitable fact of ageing.

But I wasn’t going to go down without a fight, I never did,  so for the last 3 years I have been doing weights in the gym. In the last year I started going to the gym twice a week (with free weights) and going for a run outside twice a week. My weight was only shifting marginally though. I even started eating a lot more healthy, I cut out fatty foods like cheese (stopped eating pizza altogether), cut down my alcohol consumption substantially and stopped drinking coffee. But none of it was really working fast enough. It looked like that I would have to exercise even harder and be even more disciplined at what I eat. And then, maybe in the next 2 or 3 years with great discipline and patience I may gradually get to my target of losing that belly and regaining my face.

But something quite magical happened in February, it all went in the space of 3 months, weight accumulated slowly over 10 years went so quickly that it shocked me, I had dreamt about this moment and when it came so suddenly I wasn’t really ready for all the emotional changes in my own self perception, and of others about me. What happened? How did I suddenly lose so much weight. It’s painfully simple. I quit sugar.

Yes, that means no chocolate, no cakes, cookies, no fruit juices, no Indian jalebis, no baklawa, no milkshakes, no sweet treats. All gone. The whole lot.

And by god that has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I have a sweet tooth and I like my sweet stuff! I would eat a bit of chocolate daily, and tutoring children I am always around cakes, brownies and other sweeties. At night just before bed I would get a sugar craving and I would have a few pieces of milk chocolate and After Eights. I could not eat a single meal without having fruit juice. I had juice 3 times a day.

But once I quit sugar and continued with my already disciplined workout regime, the weight loss was very fast indeed. I have now had to accept the new me, he has arrived suddenly and the last time I looked like that, it was 2004. Many memories from that year are also coming by. It has been a bit strange and depressing to lose the bulkier face of the last 6 years, it was my identity and there is a sense of loss. My pictures on social media are all practically out of sync with the new me. This is a quality problem to have. I am slimmer now, which is a look I was never happy about as a teenager and in my 20s. At times people have thought I am falling ill to have lost so much weight so quickly, and I wonder the same! As I was gaining weight through the years I threw away most of my old clothes as they were too tight when I got the belly. I held on to a few precious items though for memory sake mostly, and when I tried an old colourful gig shirt and it fitted perfectly…well, it really was amazing and I felt like I did all those years ago!

In 2013 I had a style makeover and bought new better fitting and stylish clothes. The combined effect of the weight loss and the new clothes together mean my physical appearance has changed dramatically in the last few months. And everyone has noticed.

These are my emotions as I have gone through such a quick weight change. A part of me wished that I was happy with my old body shape and didn’t need any changes in external appearance to feel better, but life is never as simple as that and inside feelings are often linked to outside appearances and outcomes. I will write more on the specific diet control on how I lost this weight so quickly in another blog post.

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1 Response to “How Giving Up Sugar Transformed Me Physically and Mentally”



  1. 1 2014 – The Life Defining Year | Atul Rana Trackback on December 31, 2015 at 5:21 pm

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