The weight loss battle that’s left her almost 20kgs lighter

Doreen Kansiime has this year along lost 19 kgs by changing her diet and lifestyle to include exercise. COURTESY PHOTO

Doreen Kansiime began feeling uncomfortable with her weight in early January this year. She felt she needed to take some radical actions.

It was four years since she had given birth to her first born, Timothy. For some time after she had just given birth, she suffered from back and shoulder pain.

“I had been in and out of hospital for a while for physiotherapy but the doctors would emphasise that the pain was worsened by my weight and the fact that I am short. So, my New Year resolution was to shed weight,” Kansiime explains, with a smile of satisfaction.

At the time, she weighed 78 kilogrammes. “I was super obese but I did not have a clear plan at the time. I thought hard about it. Then I decided to set an appointment to see a nutritionist to advise me on nutritional changes,” she recalls.

The nutritionist sent her an email detailing and indicating to her the types of foods she had to avoid. Kansiime was also advised to eat in moderation and exercise too.

Still lazy and dragging her feet, she didn’t start off immediately. “Weight loss is like salvation. You need to be convicted first. You know what to do but starting is tough, so I kept postponing on starting the diet and exercise till March,” she further recounts.

Taking the first step
On March 1, she resolved to start. On that day, she woke up and said to herself that this was the day the weight-loss journey would start. Her first decision was to take tea without milk.

From that point on, she took time to prepare her mind and body to be ready for new journey and adjustment. She shared with everyone at home, first with her husband, Abiaz Rwamwiri, about her plan to start losing weight.

“I needed their support. I basically changed my attitude. Mind-set is key in weight loss. When I started in March, I was still breastfeeding so I did everything mindful,” she explains.

But Kansiime was not as obese as she turned out to be. “When I came to Kampala many years ago, I think I had rural urban excitement. I ate all junk and soda. I pilled all that weight.

So the first thing I did was to watch what I ate. The body is like a computer. Garbage in, garbage out. What you give it is what it shows you so I cut off junk; sodas, fizzy drinks, sugar, processed goods, including wheat products like biscuits and cookies,” she explains.

Changing the diet
Then, she reduced on her consumption of red meat. She started consuming more fish, fruits and vegetables or plant-grown foods. Soon, and slowly, the results started to manifest. “Diet matters a lot. 70 per cent of my weight loss is due to dietary changes. In a month, I had dropped three kilogrammes. More kept dropping. I now weigh 59kgs,” she shares.

Shedding off flesh has benefitted Kansiime a lot. In the gym, she has also toned her body. Her husband paid for her subscription in a good gym, the Acacia Paradise Fitness. Plus, she no longer suffers from back and shoulder pain.

It has been months since she last took medication or visited the hospital for the pain.

There is more. “Life has changed. I have confidence, self-esteem. I move like a diva. I feel and enjoy self-love. Above all, I control my body. I choose what to feed it or not. I am more health cautious than just fitting in clothes.

I am looking at life time sustainable things I can do forever. I have never done any crush programme or taken any supplements or anything,” Kansiime adds.
Her stand-out moments during the journey was losing her first kilogramme and the other, spending a week without meat. Everyone knew how she loved meat. She would eat it every day, and in all quantities.

She adds, “I continued to lose weight. I feel energetic. I am getting fit. I am still working on my body to get toned. I have big, lose arms.”

A caution
Doreen Kansiime advises those looking at a natural process of losing weight not to rush into weight-loss programs especially pills and supplements. “They are artificial and can only work for a short time, and are not sustainable and may carry adverse effects on the body.

Let food be your medicine. Watch what you eat. Watch portions. Exercise should be part of life not just for weight loss but health. Avoid processed goods, drinks, sugars, less fat from red meat and no junk,” she advises. After 4pm, she is less active so she doesn’t eat more carbohydrates because all that energy will not be used and can be stored as fat. For dinner, her family eats as early as 7pm, only light supper.