We all know about the dreadful D word that slowly creeps in at any age suddenly making your favorite food a threat to your life! Yes, we are talking about Diabetes! According to the studies, nearly 62 million Indians are suffering from Diabetes, and sadly it’s in the fastest growing condition. Every year on 14th November, the International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organization recognize Diabetes Day to spread awareness and talk about the possible threats it’s becoming to a huge number of population.
Gympik managed to get in touch with a millennial who’s has been suffering from Diabetes since the tender age of 15. Keep reading on how he altered his lifestyle according to his health conditions and not only leads a normal life but also is a budding entrepreneur. To say the least – if he can, so can you!
Gympik: Tell us a bit about yourself? What do you do?
Harsh: “My name is Harsh Kedia, I’m 22 years old from Mumbai. You’re triggering my narcissist’s bone by asking about myself!” Harsh continues, “I love to cook, bake, do photography, I follow fashion quite closely and love partying on weekends. I have studied Economics, Mathematics, and Statistics as a part of my graduation. I’ve been working with startups and I myself own two of them – The Diabetic Chef and House of Kedi. Currently, I’m working as a Senior Marketing person for one of India’s leading cafe/patisserie.”
Gympik: At what age did you find out that you have Diabetes?
Harsh: “I was 15 when I was diagnosed with Diabetes. The initial struggle was quite a pain. I didn’t know what to eat, what to drink and let me tell you this is the worst part of being diabetic. I consulted a lot of doctors initially to understand the eating patterns, basically the foods so that I don’t stick to my bed. Dealing with diabetes is like doing maths on daily basis, you minus the sugar, minus the carbs, calculate the fats and consume the result. Sucks, right?”
“At the age of 14-15 you just want to pick up that pack of chips and cola, and it was suddenly forbidden for me!”
Gympik: What was the initial struggle of dealing with Diabetes?
Harsh: “The food decisions were obviously a major struggle, but along with that I was dealing with my weight issues. I was a little too healthy kid of almost 105 kgs, I’m not even kidding! My doctor slowly started threatening my inner young Kedia that if I won’t start doing physical activities to lose weight they’ll have to cut down my fingers! I still hate them for pulling up that sinister trick on me” (laughs)
Gympik: How long have you been associated with fitness and how did you start?
Harsh: “Since the time I was diagnosed with diabetes I was forced to shed my extra kilos, so you can say it’s 6-7 years now. Earlier I had no idea where to begin from, you can’t expect a 15-year-old to be health conscious, can you? I started with a basic routine like walking, cycling, skipping ropes, and do a few cardio exercises that I checked on the internet. When I saw that this cardio routine alone isn’t working, I enrolled myself in a dance class because I love music and I thought this is a kind of physical activity that I’ll thoroughly enjoy doing.”
Gympik: How do you customize your diet plans and workout routines?
Harsh: “I didn’t consult a specialized diet professional for my diet plans, I just adhered to what my doctor prescribed me and I took some serious advice from my relative who’s also a diabetic patient. Like I said, Diabetes is a calculative affair, so I was just kept a tab on what I was consuming, making sure that my Glycemic index is lower than 55. Another thing which I’d like to boast is – I stayed away from sugar for 746 days! This was my last count and it’s not been an easy journey. I had my greens, low carbs, grilled chicken, broccoli and that’s about it. A portioned and balanced meal have always been the answer to my journey so far. My meals generally don’t constitute high amounts of carbs. I started at 104 kgs when I was 16 years old and now I weigh 67 Kilos at 22. I’m aiming to lose more weight by following the same diet regime. And dancing was one of the joyful activities that helped me shed a great lot weight and made me enjoy it too.”
“I started at 104 KGs when I was 16 years old and now I weigh 67 Kilos at 22!”
Gympik: Who’re your fitness idols? And why?
Harsh: “My fitness idols always have been individuals who have a story behind their weight loss, as it is the most important factor when you’re diabetic. A lot of people choose to lose weight or become fit to look stereotypical good-looking. So I’ve honestly not followed any celebrities. However, a lot of people who I have read about on the internet have inspired me. Like they say, ‘Not all heroes wear a cape’, I’d say ‘Not all idols are famous’.
Gympik: What are the major priorities of your life and how is this overall transformation helping you achieve them?
Harsh: “My major priority in life has always been to stay healthy and stay fit. Because of an obese childhood and unfit lifestyle, it was very difficult to indulge in a lot of a ctivities and go about any sport, even a jog. Now, I feel much healthier and I go for a walk or dance for straight an hour without feeling lazy or lethargic. Weight loss has helped me considerably in this journey.”
Gympik: What keeps you motivated to stay fit? What according to you is the best way for people to stay motivated towards fitness?
Harsh: “To not let my diabetes go out of control and not have restrictions all over again, I try keeping my weight in check. Also, it has become a habit to choose a healthy diet and follow a strict workout regime over being lazy. It makes my life, work and living much easier. For people to stay fit, the best way is to start any kind of activity they like and stick to it till it becomes a habit. If you consider it a mandate then it becomes more and more challenging by the day to keep up with it.”
Gympik: What according to you, does fitness stand for? Share a quote (preferably yours/the quote you believe in) on fitness that you truly believe in?
Harsh: “Fitness is a very individualistic approach to a healthier lifestyle. Be on the go and keep going. Couple it up with the right foods and adequate sleep..”
Gympik: Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself that would help our readers know you better?
Harsh: “My motto is : Run the extra mile to get the best of yourself” I do everything to keep up with it. One must prioritize health and keep it in check at all times. Diseases are getting more and more common these days, but knowing that you alone can turn the tables for your health is a news of sunshine.”
“Do it for thyself, and do it with utmost dedication.”
We at Gympik are always on a look out for fitness heroes like Harsh who has bent the rules and come out strong with a voice that deserve to be heard. This World Diabetes Day – we salute the heroes who have been trying to cope with this deadly disease by making constant changes in their lives to create a better life in every attempt. We would love to hear your story too! Comment below if you know about any heroes who can inspire you, us and all with their indomitable spirit. Till then, stay healthy & fit.