My 15-Year ‘Weight-Gain-Loss’ battle
Left: 18 Years/ Right: 20 Years old me. And then repeat. Twice.
It was 15 years ago, when I first saw that weighing scale cross 100. To ensure I understood I’d crossed a line, the makers of that scale had, very kindly, marked 100 in red. I got the point.
Not that I needed a number to tell me that I was unfit. The fact that I couldn’t run more than 250m at a stretch, or that I couldn’t look at my feet standing straight, or that I frequently felt a pain in the centre of my chest — should’ve all been markers enough. But somehow, in all those years, I was never able to get up and do something about it.
Then one day I did. I lost 35kgs in 10 months! Woah!
I’m the right-most guy in both those pics.
Impressive right? Calls for a celebration? The dragon has been slain! Let the revelry begin! Well, it began. Lasted two years. And by the time I realised what was happening, I was back at 85kg+. In the decade that followed, that same weight-loss-gain cycle repeated itself thrice.
The BIG Question
Along the way, as I battled my recurring obesity problem, I became obsessed with researching the topic. From books, to blogs, to talks to seminars — I guzzled through a ton of information in an attempt to find the holy grail of fitness:
How do I get fit and then stay so?
Is it about diet or exercise or both? Is fat the problem or carbs or both or none? Does everyone lose fat the same way or are we all built different? The more I explored, the more the picture blurred. Experts couldn’t seem to agree. Scientists seemed to point in diametrically opposite directions. And personal experiences varied so widely that you couldn’t draw a patterm.
As I lay there, drowning in a sea of divergent information, a new, bigger question started troubling me. How is it that an issue that has so much written about it, that concerns almost half of humanity, hasn’t been solved yet?
Why is obesity a bigger issue today than it’s ever been in the history of mankind?
Part of the answer lies in Economics. ‘Fitness’ is an industry worth billions of dollars. Dollars that wouldn’t know what to do if the obesity question got answered. So they find themselves in a unique spot. They’ve got to sell us something that looks like the answer, while ensuring it never really is. But how do they achieve that?
They do it by answering questions they want to answer. Not the ones you are asking.
Think of the last 3 fitness related articles you read. ’The 22-day KILLER abs workout’, ‘6 foods you need to eliminate from your diet TODAY’ and ’This One exercise can help you lose 2 inches in 10 days FLAT’. Sound familiar?
More importantly, are these the questions that trouble you when it comes to health and fitness? Or are they the simpler ones like — ‘I need to lose weight, where do I start?’ Or ‘I want to hit the gym, what do I need to know?’
Unfortunately, the modern, 21st century brain, loves fact-rich information served in a clickbait-y way. So lists like ’10 weight-loss shortcuts you’d never believe’ or ’7 morning routines to kill belly fat’ are infinitely more click-worthy than ‘How do I begin my weight loss journey?’ or ’Should I just stop having carbs completely?’. The latter, as you’d notice, are simple questions with complex answers. Questions, framed the way your brain actually asks them (Have you ever woken up thinking — ‘What are the 9 absolutely shocking truths about Avocado?’).
Problem is, no one’s ever put them together in a narrative and served them to you.
My attempt at remedying this situation. *drumroll*
Over these past 15 years, I’ve waded through the murky ‘fat-to-fit’ waters enough number of times to now, finally, know my way around the landscape. A landscape littered with ’10 ways’ and ‘How to’s’ and ’14 truths’. FITSHIT, is my attempt to guide you through these landmines and weave a narrative that your brain can actually absorb and deal with.
So what is FITSHIT?
It’s a weekly fitness blog cum newsletter.
Every week, we pick up one ’simple-sounding — yet-complex’ question about fitness and dive deep into it. We start with my perspective on the issue and the personal experiences I’ve had while trying various approaches. Along the way, I shall provide links and references to the scientifically backed resources that I’m basing my point of view on.
The Deal: Read through my take on the topic → Find anything along the way that intrigues you → Follow the links and go as deep as the rabbit hole does
Like the deal? Let me sweeten it for you — it’s FREE!
All the years when I was struggling to get my fitness journey started, I hoped and wished for something like FITSHIT. A one-stop solution that answered one-question at a time. FITSHIT is free because I’m doing it for myself. For my 17-year-old, 104.5kg self. If you too can benefit from it, well that’s just great now isn’t it!
All I ask in return is to spread the word. If you know someone who’d benefit from this, then clap for it, share it, pass it around.
If this has value, then let it become a value snowball that rips through the weight-loss & fitness industry and forces them to stop selling us bullshit. Ok maybe I’m getting way ahead of myself. But let’s atleast give it a shot!