My Safe Weight Loss Success Story
Before you read my story , have a look at my album which represents me in my FAT and THIN life.
---------------------KINDLY PLEASE READ MY STORY BELOW TO KNOW WHY I LOST WEIGHT AND WHY
LIVING HEALTHY BECAME A PART OF MY LIFE . IN SHORT I MET AND FELT
of every noble cause happens for a reason. And with that reason comes the most important thing ,
attitude.As William James once said “The greatest
discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude .As you think and
then act , so shall you be” . There is so much knowledge and wisdom hidden in the above quote , as I have been
privileged enough to implement it in my own life and I am still living with it. A change in ones attitude in a
positive direction can lead to positive results which sometimes are termed as miracles. A miracle happened in my
life too and I give the credit to the human spirit which helped me achieve my goal which many people term as
miracle. Everyone is born with a positive human spirit and once it gets realized, it can lead to so called
On 4th February 1976 me, Rishi Sharma was born in an
Indian middle class family. Though I was a cesarean child , my mother was blessed as she gave birth to a
healthy kid with all organs working. I call it a blessing because I was born healthy. A new born baby who
comes out of the womb of the mother brings good health as a blessing to the entire family. By the grace of
god, the next two kids(my sisters) my mother delivered were also blessed as they were born healthy. We thank
our mother to have given us this blessing.
Both my parents were Indian Government Servants and they
raised me and my two younger sisters with the best facilities a parent can give to their child. And as I was
the eldest child, I was a bit pampered. In India being born as a male child in a family is counted as a
blessing. Needless to mention as I was the first child in my family and that too a boy, I was offered all
sorts of comforts. Now among those comforts , one facility I always exploited was FOOD. Throughout my
childhood, I never compromised on my food loving habits. It always came first in my list of
following Saying would go perfect on me: “I , RISHI SHARMA Lived to EAT”
Food was made for me and I was made for food. Eating to
me was like going through a spiritual ritual, which I enjoyed many times daily. All the major types of rich
foods(chocolates, pastries, samosas, cheese etc.) were on my top food priority list. My huge personality
demanded large food servings in each meal I had.
Being fortunate to have studied in one of the best
schools, As far as I remember in all my school batch years I was the fattest kid . Kids use to tease me by
all fat names(mote, fatso, heavy duty etc.). Many times I did used to feel offended, but there was nothing I
could do about it. My big fat image was like an open pool which every one loved to dive into. Sometimes the
overweight feeling used to sink in deep and my inner voice would scream “Rishi do something about your Fat
image” . But the main thing in that something was to get rid of my unhealthy food loving habits which I was
not keen to compromise on. Though I used to engage myself in a lot of sport activities, my body was so huge
that every sports teacher would turn a deaf eye on me. Every teacher used to tell me the same 2 words which
used to pass through my ears quite often , “ LOSE WEIGHT". I would always take it casually , ignoring it and
carrying On with my food loving habit.
After finishing my High school, I was lucky enough to
get an Engineering seat in a reputed Engineering college. In the year 1993, at 18 years of age and weighing
approximately 95 Kg , I joined Manipal Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering branch. Among all
the new joiners I was ragged the most by my Senior students. My huge fat image was fully exploited by them
though some of them were also scared of my image . I can say this with pride that one advantage which my huge
body gave me was that people used to never take me for a ride , knowing that they cannot mess with a huge fat
my huge body image in all the 4 years of my graduation , getting good grades , living life to the fullest with
regards to everything but most important , food. In the year 1997, I became an Engineering graduate and at that
time at 21 years of age I weighed around 100 Kg (I ton). Crossing the 100kg mark should have been a triggering
signal for me , but that was not the case for me as at 21 years of age weighing 100Kg.
“I still lived to eat”.
My first job after graduation was in a reputed software
company in India with a decent pay of Rs 10,000 per month. For me at 21 years of age, it was a very good
Since now I had my own money too spend, my food eating
habits got more scope and they became more erratic . I started eating a lot of junk food from many small and
big food chain outlets which were just stones throw from my working place. Having a Samosa, or a sweet- dish
was now a daily affair. I was spending my own money and so I could afford the everyday food rituals. In terms
of food enjoyments , I was having the time of my life . My weight was further increasing but again I was not
at all concerned about my health. One more habit which my first job gave me was that of SMOKING. Being
surrounded with smoking companions in my workplace and having my own money to buy cigarettes , smoking became
a habit for me.
After completing 2 years in the company , a dream which
every IT Software Professional from India looks forward to was turning into a reality for me. And that was
going too GOING TO USA. Year 1999 was a booming phase for the IT software industry around the world as well
USA was the working destination for every Software
Professional from India. This was with regards to getting more opportunity to work for big USA companies and
making more money . Above all landing in USA itself was a cherished dream. I was getting a chance to go on a
work permit to USA to work there as a Software Consultant. I attribute the moment when I was told that I will
be flying to USA as one of the happiest moment in my life. It felt like being on top of the world.I got my
work permit USA visa in a months time and I was preparing myself to fly to USA when a terrible thing
My father suffered a heart attack and went through a
triple bypass heart surgery . As both my younger sisters were studying in hostels far from home , I was the
only one to take care of him. Therefore , I had to postpone my USA trip by a month. I had seen the entire
ordeal of my father going through the bypass surgery always being with him 24 hours in the hospital. My
mother too was a diabetic and she also had some common diabetic ailments. Hence , it was a tough decision for
me to leave both my ailing parents at that moment.
Coming from a middle class family, going abroad and
earning good money was the top priority for me to be able to financially support my family better. Both my
younger sisters were studying professional courses and as my father had retired it was also a kind of
necessity for me to go to USA and not leave such a wonderful opportunity to earn money and also to earn good
experience which would benefit me in my career as a Software Professional. I must mention here that after
witnessing the entire episode of my fathers Bypass Surgery, I did get the realization for the first time that
I should also take care of my health as I was over a ton(100kg) that time. But again, this realization was
not that strong enough to motivate me to the fullest to work myself towards losing weight . And moreover my
‘Going to USA Hangover’ was on which kept everything aside.
USA in march 2000. My blood relation , Uncle Balraj (my father’s younger brother) came to receive me. At JFK
airport. Apart. from the hugs and Kisses he uttered ' Rishi, you have grown very huge’ . What he really meant was
that I was too much overweight as he was seeing me after a long time. Well, I had been hearing such sentences many
times in the past so this one also was causally taken by me. I replied in a laughing tone , ‘Uncle, this shows that
I belong to a rich family as I have all the good foods to eat’.
On 13th march 2000, I joined my first job in USA in New
Jersey as an on site Consultant for a big US telecom IT Giant(Telcordia Technologies). My experience in my
first job in USA was a very pleasant one. The work environment in Telcordia was great. All the people around
me were very nice and helpful. My manager Mike was the best person anyone would like to get associated and
work with. I was very much enjoying my stay in USA. Good job, good people to work with , good manager and
good money. What more can a person ask from God? And with all good things came another one, complementary
Lunch in Telcordia. And at that part of my life ‘I still Lived to Eat’. Every day lunch at Telcordia was the
most enjoyable , having all the good and unhealthy complementary foods (Burgers, French fries, etc) to eat
There were many other Indians working in my company in
New Jersey and soon some of them became my friends. As I was a Bachelor at that time in year 2000, I rented
an apartment near to my workplace with two other Indian Bachelors named Srinivas and Vishnu. Both my
apartment mates were nice people. All the three of us were drawing handsome salaries in USA and most of the
times we used to have food outside. Which was majority fast food. My favorite meal used to be a double cheese
burger with French fries. All these foods come under the unhealthy food bracket, but Srinivas and Vishnu had
not to be bothered as they were half my size. It was only me who needed to care about what I was eating
because I had gained more weight since I had arrived form India since I had to buy new sized clothes for me
as I was not able to fit in the clothes I bought from India.
Life in New Jersey was job, eating all kinds of junk
food and sleeping.
My unhealthy living lifestyle with my first job in USA
carried on till a year , when ultimately I got the SHOCK of my life.
On 30th July 2001, I came back from work and as a normal routine, switched
on the television with a can of coke, and chips to enjoy. As I watched television, my body started to sweat
and I experienced a very uncomfortable feeling from inside. The feeling was leading to giddiness. I thought
this to be fever and immediately lay down on a bed. For about an hour the uncomfortable feeling persisted and
I also started having a terrible headache I was able to hear my heart beat palpitations going high. As I
Could no longer take it , I mentioned this anxiously to my roommate Srinivas. Srinivas was a nice and caring
human being. Judging my medical problem and my immediate symptoms, he advised me to rush to the nearby
hospital or call 911. 911 is the number which one can dial for any type of emergency service required in USA.
Being on a work permit VISA in USA , my medical insurance was fully covered. The next moment I called 911 a
number which is dialed in USA in any emergency. Nervously , I explained the all type of symptoms I was going
through to the person who received my call . In a few minutes the paramedics van arrived at my doorstep and
in the next 5 minutes I was on a stretcher being moved in to the van. For emotional support I asked Srinivas
to accompany me and follow the van in his car .
The paramedics van was fully equipped with a lot of
medical instruments. Some Medical gadgets were immediately wrapped around by chest, hand and stomach. I lay
down in the van as it was moving towards the hospital . I was so scared to death that I was hardly able to
speak anything as the paramedic professional kept pacifying me and was talking to me continuously to ease my
anxiety and nervousness. In a frail voice I asked one of the paramedics as to what was wrong with me and he
replied gently “Your Blood Pressure is a bit high , but don’t worry everything will be
The next moment was like end of the world for me. I was
shocked. I asked the paramedics how much it was and they replied calming me down, “its 210/125”.Immediately,
I was also given a Blood Pressure Suppressing medicine as it was badly needed to bring it down. I was now not
only shocked but shattered. Carrying a family history of Hypertension (both my parents were hypertensive) and
having recently gone through the ordeal of Bypass Surgery of my father, I very well knew everything about
Blood Pressure. And my blood pressure reading which the paramedics told me was like a severely sick man
These are the negative thoughts that came to my mind as
I lay down in the paramedics van shocked, shattered with all kinds of pessimism flowing in my
•High Blood Pressure and me , how and why? What the hell
will I do now. Oh man 210/135 is very high. You are a gone case .
•Rishi, your father and mother are both hypertensive so
this might be genetic but now as I have blood pressure I am a gone case.
•Rishi, your father went through a triple bypass, u will
also go through it
•Rishi, your mother is a diabetic so maybe u might also
inherit that as I have inherited blood pressure from her.
•Oh God, I want to die in front of my parents, so please
give me strength so that I can go back to India .
As the hospital arrived , I was taken to the emergency
Patients Lobby, where I was greeted by other emergency patients. The emergency nurse on duty gave me a
medical form which required me to furnish my medical insurance details so that my treatment could be covered
by the hospital under the insurance scheme. As I was filling the form , the nurse also took my Blood Pressure
and the reading came out to be 170/105. And this reading was 30 minutes after I was given the blood pressure
suppressant . So it was sure to me that I, Rishi Sharma , aged 25 years was suffering from High Blood
As I finished filling up the medical form , I was
approached by a tall gentlemen who introduced himself as Dr. Mathew. He was already briefed about my Blood
Pressure readings and the symptoms which brought me to the hospital. Dr. Mathews wanted to hear it form my
mouth as to what kind of problems I had experienced. He started asking me about my family medical history
regarding which I told him about every medical problem which my mother and father had. He comforted me by
saying that my blood pressure rise can be temporary also , and medical investigations need to be done for
Knowing about my family history of hypertension, my
mother being a diabetic and my father undergoing a triple Bypass Heart Surgery, Dr. Mathews wanted me to
undergo a couple of medical tests. He told me that these tests were essential to find out if I was having any
chronic ailments like diabetes or heart problems etc. He asked me to give my blood sample empty stomach the
next morning and he also took an ECG of my heart which luckily came out to be good. A heart lung monitor was
implanted on my chest to record my heart beats for a period of 24 hours to check if everything was fine with
my heart. It was all very very scary. I cannot tell in words as to what kind of pessimistic feeling I was
going through when Dr. Mathews was putting all kinds of medical advices on me.
Dr. Mathews also asked me a couple of other general
questions .He asked me
1) Do I
2) Do I drink
3) Do I perform
any kind of exercise?
4) Is there Stress
in my life?
With a guilt feeling , I answered his questions honestly
in a very low voice . I was smoking cigarettes, drinking occasionally and exercise was way out of my life.
Basically , my overall lifestyle was messed up and in emotional anxiety I told everything which came to my
He asked me to measure my weight on the weighing scale
and the next moment the words which came out from his mouth were ‘OH MY GOD’ . Then at that moment on 30th
July 2001, I , Rishi Sharma , present at the hospital emergency department in New Jersey, weighed 265 pounds(
“You are way too much above your weight Rishi, you need
to loose weight buddy” were his words.
Oh, again those words LOSE WEIGHT entering my ears . I
had heard those words from many people before , but this time the scene was different. The words LOOSE WEIGHT
coming out of Dr. Mathews mouth at that moment were like an order which a captain gives to his soldiers and
to me too these words meant an order. For the first time in life I got the realization to the fullest that I
was really a FAT , OVERWEIGHT UNHEALTHY person. Pessimism flowing in every cell of my body, I cursed my self
honestly for the first time for being OVERWEIGHT.
All the egos aspirations, life struggles anger etc end
when a person is laying on a hospital bed helpless with a medical problem, and the doctor comes and tells
that these are the medical problems you have and this is what you need to do. The same was the case for me. A
FAT overweight me , at 264 pounds with High Blood Pressure problem lay helpless in front of Dr. Mathews. Out
of nervousness and emotional anxiety I asked the doctor many stupid questions regarding my
was a very nice and experienced doctor. Noticing my anxiety levels and pessimism , he mentioned that everything
will be alright and things would be more clear after my tests report come out. Yes , but one thing which he
mentioned to me was that since I was heavily overweight , had a smoking habit and was carrying a family history of
diabetes and hypertension , I need to take care and I should quit smoking . Now the
sentence “need to take care” had a lot of meaning in it for me. Taking my mother and father into consideration, in my
past I had witnessed as to what kind of complications diabetes and hypertension can bring. And the repeated thought
that I can also get these problems or I might be carrying these problems made me more nervous. For smoking, I made
a temporary resolution at that very moment that I will never smoke. Dr. Mathews ended his conversation for the
evening by telling me to come for a blood test the next morning empty stomach. He smilingly told me that everything
will be alright and again he mentioned to take care of myself.
With the heart lung monitor on my chest , a dejected me
walked out of the emergency department carrying my medical papers. Entering the visitors waiting room , I was
greeted by Srinivas. With the negativity flowing in my mind, I needed an emotional support badly. And
Srinivas was the perfect person to do that. As Srinivas was driving me back home, I narrated the entire
episode of my emergency stay with Dr. Mathews. Even a calm and composed man like Srinivas was a bit shocked
to hear about my Blood Pressure and weight. I heard it from his mouth too , “Rishi your Blood Pressure is too
high and I could never imagined you could weight so much(265bpounds) . You look huge but 265 pounds is a bit
We reached home at around 12:00 pm in the night . After
having a glass of milk I went straight to bed as I had to get up early the next morning to give my blood
tests in the hospital. That night 30th July 2001 was a very heavy night for me. I could hardly sleep as I was
worried and scared as I now had the knowledge that I have Blood Pressure. As I had to give my blood tests
tomorrow morning. The negative thoughts coming in my mind were bothering me .
• What if the
tests say I am diabetic?
• what if the
tests say I have high cholesterol?
• Could I be
suffering from Arthritis because of my excessive weight?
• How will I carry
on with my job if something wrong comes out in the tests?
All kinds of pessimistic thoughts flowed through my mind
the entire night. Never in my life had I felt so much scared, depressed and pessimistic. The next morning I
reached he hospital and gave my blood and urine samples. The heart lung monitor on my chest was removed
Dr. Mathews had recommended all kinds of tests to be
done, therefore I was very anxious for the reports to come out. The test results came out in the evening
which added more fuel to the shock I had gone through. My Cholesterol and triglycerides were high. Now both
of these blood parameters are related with heart attacks. My lipid profile levels were not in normal range.
Some other general parameters like hemoglobin related to blood were also out of range. The only relief I got
after seeing my test reports was that my Blood glucose was in range and hence I was not a diabetic. Also my
heart lung monitoring tests came out to be negative.
When I met with Dr.Mathews with my Test results the next
day , he mentioned to me that my report was not very good and I needed to be started on some medicines. These
medicines were not very strong but to bring some of my blood parameters like Cholesterol in range these need
to be started. Also he put me on a light Blood Pressure Suppressant as my Blood Pressure needed to be in
Dr. Mathews told me that he was sorry to put a young 25
year old man on such medicines , but after my medical investigations they were required. I asked him will
these medicines be for life and he told me
“Rishi, you are very young. You can get back control of
your health by adopting a healthy lifestyle. You need to loose a good amount of weight, you should quit smoking and
moreover you should not take your health now for granted.”
He told me that the medicines he is giving me are not
addictive. In due time if I took good care of my health, I can get rid of them.
Being a software professional, for many years I had been
using the intelligence of my mind for creating software, but I never used it for my health. The reason being
that I never thought of healthy living because my health never before had come to stake. Never in my life
before I had visited the hospital in such circumstances. Never before did I ever get the realization that
HEALTH IS WEALTH. Health is indeed the biggest wealth anyone can have . No one but me in the world at that
moment could appreciate the above saying. I had always happily enjoyed my LIVED TO EAT habit combined with
some supplementary habits of smoking and drinking. The realization that I was responsible for ruining my
health was very strong at that time. These were some of the many answers I got when I started thinking on
rational grounds for all types of questions coming to my mind:
•I have blood pressure because I am overweight and also
I smoke. I have to quit smoking.
•My overweight problem is related to my unhealthy eating
and unhealthy lifestyle. I have to change my lifestyle.
•I do not exercise at all , so how can I solve my weight
problem. I should start exercising.
•Drinking alcohol(beer ) has also contributed to my
•No one but only me can work towards making my heath
better. I have been responsible for ruining my health and only I can get it back on track.
•Though I have been put on medicines, but I will do
everything to get rid of them.
•I will try best to do everything for my health which is
in my control. I will try not to compromise on health at all.
•God gave me a healthy body and its only me who has
ruined it by my irratic lifestyle , unhealthy eating habits and also having some bad supplementary
habits(smoking, drinking)I pledge that I will do everything to get back my good health.
The above answers which I got to my questions were just
coming out of my commonsense. Yes commonsense was prevailing for most of my questions.
educated person(IT Software Professional) I decided at that moment it self that I will try to work on my health
through a commonsense approach. Nothing in this world comes easily and when my health is the issue, I got to be
ready to leave my comfort zones and do everything possible to get back my health. The first thing I needed to do
was to work towards loosing my weight. Yes , finally the words LOSE WEIGHT which I had been hearing all through 25
years of my life were now a part of the Battle I had decided to start , ‘The Battle of Losing Weight and getting good health’.
Since I was emotionally charged at that moment , I made
all kinds of resolutions which I knew were difficult to stick to. But at least the promises I was making to
myself had at least some conviction in it. This I can say because these promises were being made by a 25 year
old overweight unhealthy man, who was now carrying the realization after going through a tough hospital
ordeal that how important Health is for him.
Hence , my journey towards weight loss started from that
very day . Many hurdles came in between , some I crossed some I could not , but finally in a time span of 12
months I managed to win ‘The Battle of Losing weight’ and achieve my weight loss glory. The battle was not
easy as it required a lot of commitment, focus and discipline.
I lost 50 Kg(110 pounds) in a span of one year. In July
2002 I was a different man lean and thin .
I got rid of my bad health parameters(High Blood
Pressure, High cholesterol etc.)
I have managed to sustain my weight for
past 12 years .
A disciplined healthy lifestyle of proper exercise,
proper diet and proper rest
made me accomplish my weight loss goal and gain good
erratic lifestyle with no exercise and my irrational eating habits came badly on my health.
At that point I had two roads to chose. To Lose weight and get good health OR to die with bad
"The will to lose weight and the
reason to get rid of bad health parameters became a challenge for me and ultimately this challenge turned into a
passion in due time".
It took me almost 12 months to
lose 50Kg (110 pounds) to reach my target weight range (70-78 Kg). i.e. I came down from 120kg (264 pounds) to 70
I got rid of all my bad health parameters(high blood pressure , high
If a person like me who has been overweight his
entire life , can lose weight and sustain it ,then I can challenge anyone can. At age 32 , I am considered the
fittest person in my entire family circle and my old school friends still get shocked when they see me.
Just imagine a person having a 46 inch waistline coming down to a waistline of
Its like feeling GOD. When u lose weight and get healthy , there is nothing on this
earth that can complement that feeling. Its like having the most heavy drug on earth. And you bet I have tasted
Everything in this life changes you , your environment , your attitude , your
confidence and moreover your LIFE.
For a human being who
has been overweight for 25 years, the road to weight loss journey was not easy. There was no shortcut to it. The
following two sentences will answer my weight loss secret of losing 110 pounds of weight.
"Following a consistent disciplined
lifestyle of healthy exercise, healthy diet and healthy rest made me accomplish my weight loss goal and
achieve my weight loss glory."
The following two sentences will answer my weight loss
secret of sustaining my weight in the target range for 11 years.
"Following a consistent disciplined
lifestyle of healthy exercise, healthy diet and healthy rest made me sustain my lost
weight and live with good health."
What constitutes a lifestyle of
healthy exercise , healthy diet and healthy rest is what my website weight loss glory is all
about. A consistent healthy lifestyle can do miracles to