My name is Gulit Upadhyay and at the time of writing this, I am 703 days sober.
I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would ever get to say these words. Not so long ago, I was an alcoholic. Drinking alcohol was the most important thing in my life. In fact, there were times when I’d get so drunk that I would completely blackout.
Thanks to my lifestyle, I had developed every imaginable health problem, right from diabetes and thyroid issues to high blood pressure and low testosterone and even a fatty liver.
The doctor told me, in no uncertain terms, that if I don’t change my lifestyle I would have a severely limited life.
I believe that one of the main reasons behind my alcoholism was my introverted nature and the resultant insecurities. Plus, for as long as I can remember, I have been really fat. Everyone made fun of me which only increased my insecurities.
I was never comfortable being around people as I felt I am less of a person than them. Food temptations are bad enough but alcohol is the mother of all temptations, especially if you are an introverted fat guy with no social skills.
My drinking had gotten so out of control that I alienated all my friends and my family almost gave up on me.
A Stint In Rehab
Having nowhere to go, I decided to check myself in rehab. I had this unshakable conviction that I could control my drinking and could stop anytime I wanted.
Most alcoholics share this delusion which is why they rarely get the help they so desperately need.
In rehab, I met people from every age group and all walks of life with one shared malaise: alcohol. Some of them were as young as 17! They had ruined their lives without realizing it. And yet, most of them believed they did not have a problem.
As a result, so many guys who came out of rehab started abusing substances again, leading to their death.
When I finally got out of rehab, I decided I would not end up the same way. I understood that I had this problem, it was a part of me and I had no control over it.
To cope with this reality, I made a few rules for myself:
- I will never drink again, no matter what!
- I will just worry about today. I will not drink today. I don’t care what happens tomorrow but today, I am not drinking. (This is the thought I wake up with every single morning).
- My serenity of mind is more important than anything else in the world.
- I will work on my insecurities.
- I will not hide the fact that I am an alcoholic.
I also decided to take charge of my life and make changes in the way I felt about myself.
One of my biggest insecurities was the fact that I was fat and ugly.
While I had quit alcohol, I still had a sense of loneliness and emptiness inside me that I was just not able to fill up. I thought that the best idea would be to fill it with something that could help me grow as a person, improve my life and make me feel good about myself. And that thing was fitness.
How Fitness Turned My Life Around
In the beginning, my main goal was simply to be healthy; I had so many health problems and I wanted to beat them all!
As soon as I started working out, I found that it really helped me with my depression and made me feel good about myself.
I decided to take it up a notch and work on my eating habits as well.
The diet part wasn’t as difficult as I’d thought. Basically, I simply counted calories. I followed the basic rule of Calories In & Calories Out.
I followed a high protein (150 -250 grams), low fat (50 Grams) and least carbs diet. Carbs were for the weekend and that helped me keep my cravings at bay.
I soon realized that the rules for staying sober and quitting alcoholism also fit perfectly for weight loss and clean diet.
Whether you’re an alcoholic or someone trying to get fit, the same motto applies: ONE DAY AT A TIME
Mindset is Everything!
When you wake up in the morning, say this to yourself: I WON’T BREAK MY DIET TODAY, NO MATTER WHAT. Don’t think about tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, just today no matter what temptation comes your way, you will not give in to it. (Do this daily every morning until you reach your target weight)
Do the same thing with your workouts: I WILL GO TO GYM, NO MATTER WHAT.
Here are a few other factors which could help you with your program.
1. Serenity: If your mind is not at peace, then you cannot concentrate on anything and that includes having the right meals. So if you want to lose weight or improve your health, the most important is the serenity of your mind.
How not to lose your serenity – As the prayer says, it is very simple and very difficult at the same time. At the time when any incident happens ask yourself if you can do anything about it to change it, if yes then change it; if no, then let it go. Show acceptance and move on.
2. Honesty: To understand your problem – whether it is alcohol or eating junk food – unless you acknowledge that you have a problem, you will not be able to fix it.
Even though my alcoholism was killing me, I would still make excuses for it. I would say one drink won’t hurt my body and then end up drinking the whole bottle. I would then tell myself that I won’t do it from tomorrow knowing well enough that I will do the exact same thing the next day.
Be honest. You are hurting your body and you know it. But more than that, you are hurting your self-confidence, you are losing the battle against your addiction. You are weak. Accept it and then do something about it.
3. Become Selfish: If you are not selfish, then you stop caring about what is best for you. If you are selfish, you take care of your health, your life and your progress before any other thing. If you are selfish about your body then you do what is best for it.
Most importantly, be selfish about your serenity.
4. Be shallow: People say looks don’t matter much but trust me, they do. Everyone judges you on your appearance. Be shallow about how you look.
5. Be Vain: You should be your own favourite person in the whole world. You should love yourself the most. Love your body, try to make it the best looking and healthiest one in the room. Obsess over yourself. If you don’t love yourself, that means you don’t respect yourself and which means no one else will respect you.
After my transformation, I noticed that people started looking at me differently. They loved my positivity and they wanted to know my story that also helped me build self-confidence.
My struggles continue. I still get depressed, I still feel like quitting.
But whenever I’m down, I simply close my eyes, take a deep breath and say to myself – One day at a time.
FITMAG congratulates Gulit on his wonderful transformation. He is a true testament to the power of the human spirit and what a person is capable of achieving when he sets his mind to it. We wish him all the best for the future!