Inspiring women to maintain healthy weight
After giving birth to her first born, Sylvia Kabatooro chose to be a stay at home mother. Owing to regularly being indoors, she never paid attention to her weight. Moreover, Kabatooro ate whatever she wanted and the portions were uncensored. That was usually under the pretext that she needed as much breastmilk as possible. Moreover, consistently wearing maternity clothes, blinded her to the ever increasing weight.
She was however one day awoken by a photograph she had taken with her husband. “A photograph at a graduation ceremony with my husband opened my eyes to the fact that I had gained too much weight. Standing besides my slender husband, I looked so big. I felt uneasy and on returning home, I tried out clothes I used prior to getting pregnant. Shockingly, none fit.”
Previously, all this had not bothered her because she never left the house. To make matters worse, she measured herself and realised she weighed 85kgs. She detested looking older than her husband but also did not want to consider the health implications. The need to do something glared at Kabatooro so hard, accentuated by the slim fit dress she had tailored for her upcoming graduation.
“I used the dress as a yardstick to lose weight.”
Desperate to see results, Kabatooro chose to start walking up Mbuya Hill.
“As a starter, this was ideal. Moreover, a fracture suffered years back only allowed for this level of exercise.” The only catch was that with no nanny to leave her baby with, she took the walk with the little one strapped on her back. However, inasmuch as the workout was interesting, her back could not take it. Two weeks later, she was back to square one.
The other option was drinking hot water seeing that many said it helps in ridding one of baby fat. Coupled with lemon, Kabatooro was certain she would lose the weight faster. Unfortunately, she later learned that the path would lead to milk loss to the detriment of her baby and therefore stopped.
“I also tried going to the gym but the instructor’s energy was more than I could handle. The workouts were so intense my body was hurting by the end of day two. That was another weight loss option down the drain.”
Running out of options, Kabatooro tried one more trick – skipping which she did on an hourly basis. “The clock towards graduation was ticking so I needed results fast. Coupled with skipping was ensuring I did not eat past 8pm, reduced on the food portions while eating less carbs, drunk less millet porridge and ate more fruits. That was followed by a timetable to ensure I followed through and was consistent.”
With no maid, Kabatooro also did most of the housework and in one and half months, she was down to 75kgs. With weight coming down, she also started dealing with the tummy and flabby arms. “That called for incorporating workouts such as jumping jacks, sit-ups, arm circles and leg raises.”
With the weight reducing, she stopped constantly feeling tired, slept better, her clothes fitted again and her confidence was boosted. Having lost that weight, she was also able to enjoy her second pregnancy. “This time, losing it was easier because I knew the dos and don’ts. That was helped by breastfeeding for two years. That way, within one year, I weighed 60kgs.”
After seeing these results, Kabatooro formed Kabs Weight Management in 2014 where women support and advise each other as well as celebrate their triumphs. The online platform hosted on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram brings together women from various walk of life to embark on a journey to lose and maintain weight naturally without resorting to diet fads and pill fixes.
“Although these are prevalent on the market and the Internet daily, the solutions are not lasting, if there are any.”
While they interact on a daily basis online, the group only meet once or twice a year. My experience with the women has been awesome. Many have become family and the platform is able to do this by encouraging healthy eating plans and exercise regimes.
Some of the online activities include posting what people eat thus working as a diary. “When someone posts a healthy snack, a fruit or vegetable, even those that wanted to give up are encouraged.” They also post about the exercises they are doing which brings in the element of accountability and motivation.
This year, the goal is to lose 1kg per month without starving until one gets to a healthy weight. The catch is about adopting a healthy lifestyle. “If one feels overwhelmed by the journey, looking and reading the posts of others restores their hope. They are reminded that they are not alone.”
Getting on board
Kabatooro advises those that want to join to take time and see how things work. “The admins of the group take you through what and how it is done. For anyone that wants to lose weight, the most important thing is consistence. Therefore, one may choose to work out for 10 to 20 minutes. This is better than nothing because when the body gets accustomed to the drill, the results will start showing. Therefore, there is no pressure to do much but an urge to consistently work out. You can also increase the duration of your workout consistently.”
At times, simply working out gets boring so we incorporate healthy diets. For example an apple diet for three days before we resume the normal meals. “Boredom is a major issue here thus affecting the flow of some activities. Some may not easily adhere to a 21 day Daniel fast. The same is true for prolonged exercise regimen.”
Seeing results. “We have been joined by women that desire to conceive and they have received their breakthrough. Others have lost weight, while some have changed their lifestyles. These results keep me going. So, even when there is one person still on track, I will keep at it.”