We were still in the process of getting used to teaching meditation online, when my dearest teacher, the Founder of The Golden Space, Master Umesh H. Nandwani, came to one of the advanced meditation classes that I facilitated and gave me one of the most challenging assignments in my life ever.
I was very happy that Master Umesh FINALLY attended my regular class for the first time since I started meditating with him almost 6 years ago through “Awaken~the Divine You” program (which completely transformed my life! However, that would require an entirely new post. Or, you could read my journey in the book “Walking with the Master” along with other 51 incredible life-transformational stories of people who have taken the program. The book is available on paperback, Kindle, and iBooks version!).
Anyway. I had spent almost a month in Thailand with Master Umesh to complete two levels of the Instructor’s Certification Courses (ICCL), so yes I had performed in front of him during the training and passed, that’s why I am allowed to conduct meditation classes, but it was the first time having Master Umesh sitting (virtually) in my regular class with real students. I was indeed so happy that I could finally showcase the result of his meticulous training and hardcore Bootcamp, and I also received glowing feedback from the students after the class which I proudly forwarded to him and thanked him for his energy and presence in the class.
Fast forward to two weeks later, during The Golden Space Indonesia bi-weekly instructors training, Master Umesh dropped by and gave feedback on my class that he attended earlier. Even though I was praised for leading the class (I still remember the class was about The Sacred Mountains and I did past life regression for the session and people LOVED it!), he could hear MY BREATH very clearly over the microphone during the instruction. To be honest, I was not aware of it and nobody has ever commented on that as well, so I was quite stunned by Master’s feedback. This indicates that I might have been too overweight physically that my breath became vividly audible.
What Master Umesh said was not untrue, because 2 months ago, I reached the heaviest weight in my entire life: 85 kilograms (and I’m only 160 cm tall). According to BMI, I was categorized as overweight.
Due to this condition, Master knew that something was going on with me and I needed to work on it because I had to make sure that I always deliver the best energy during the session. Therefore, he gave me an assignment to lose 10 kg in 45 days. I, of course, negotiated to do that in 3 months because, hello, who could lose TEN KILOGRAMS IN ONLY 45 DAYS??? (Little did I know that I could lose more. LOL). Master Umesh, knowing that I was belittling myself, insisted that I had to do it in 45 days or else, I would have to retake ICCL 1 if I failed. Negotiation denied. I was like “WTF???”.
My fellow instructors at The Golden Space Indonesia, thankfully, supported and encouraged me that I could do it (Love you all mwah!). Although, in all honesty, I still had no idea how to lose that much weight under such a short period of time without killing myself.
Well, it is either I lose weight OR retake ICCL 1 (which was AMAZING! YOU GUYS SHOULD DO IT, AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFE! But really, I would rather continue my journey to the next level for Masters Retreat Level 4 in Egypt and Jordan instead of retaking ICCL 1!). So it’s obvious which option I chose from the very beginning.
I started researching about rapid weight loss methods through articles, scientific journals, blogs, videos.. you name it. They all share the same thing: it’s difficult but possible.
I, for one, did not want it to be difficult.
I wanted the journey to be very easy! I did not want to be miserable for the next 45 days!
So I started asking around and found that one of my dear friends, Febry, had lost 11 kg in 3 months! Her secret is intermittent fasting combined with physical exercise! Fasting is not a foreign concept to me, because growing up as a Muslim, I got so used to doing a full 1-month fasting during Ramadhan. Then I thought, okay, I could do fasting.
Febry shared with me that she only had meals between 12PM and 6PM. Outside those window period, you could only drink water. She also shared a few light exercise videos on YouTube. I knew that I would have to customize my exercise routines as I need to lose the pounds faster.
Here’s what I did for almost two months during my weight loss journey: the 7 tools to effectively and efficiently lose emotional and physical baggage in a healthy way:
1. Set the Right Intention
I knew from the very beginning that I could not do this challenge because of the fear of retaking ICCL. I was well aware of the fact that the challenge came because I had been abandoning my physical health and it was time for me to honor my body. I had to do this out of love. So I decided to commit to this because I LOVE MYSELF UNCONDITIONALLY.
2. Carbs Detox
Before fasting, I prepared myself by doing carbohydrate detox. I only ate vegetables and fruits for 3 days, which I would say quite challenging. Living in Indonesia my whole life, I got so used to relying on carbs as the source of my energy. The hunger was palpable during these 3 days, but I dealt with the surfacing emotions through meditation by tapping into the energy of the sun, water and wind. You know how the electrical appliances utilize these renewable energy sources for our living (i.e. solar panel, water turbine, windmills), I believe that our human body can also use the energy from the sun, the water and the wind. I remember during those 3 days, I had two back-to-back half-day workshops about anger and fear, and turned out that my energy could soar during the workshops because my physical body was getting purified and reenergized by these infinite energies from the sun, the water and the wind that I incorporated during the detoxification process.
3. Intermittent Fasting
Growing up as a Muslim, fasting has been part of my life since forever. Every year, Muslim around the world celebrate Ramadhan month that involves 1-month fasting from dusk till dawn. Doing intermittent fasting, I would say, is rather easy for me because I’m somehow “trained’ to do that since I was a kid. The difference is, instead of having meals during sahoor (which usually happens at 3-4AM in Indonesia/GMT +7) and break-fasting at 6PM, I eat between 12PM-6PM. Between these window periods, I can eat anything I want which I LOVE because I did not have to make myself “suffer” by avoiding certain food. Whereas after 6PM all the way to 12PM the next day, I only drink water. On the second month, I reduced the window into 12PM to 4PM because my body has gotten used to the rhythm. This shift not only accelerated the fat burning but also elevated my endurance in maintaining and activating the reserved energy longer.
4. Morning Run
After being absent from physical workout for the longest time, I decided to do running as the major part of my physical exercise. Not only it’s free, my intention was also to be out there in the nature more often. I chose morning time because the pollution is still minimal and I somehow woke up automatically at 5AM every morning without alarm. I believe that it was my body telling me to get off bed and move my ass to kickoff the day.
I, of course, could not run more than 5 minutes in the beginning. So the first few days, I only took a walk from my apartment complex in Sudirman-Thamrin, to Bundaran Hotel Indonesia, made a U-turn in Sarinah and completed my cycle in Sumenep Promenade, right across Menara BCA Thamrin. In the morning, the promenade is still quite empty and they have this convenient jogging track under beautiful trees that are neatly taken care of.
Gradually, I pushed myself to run longer, then walk, then run again.. until on the 4th week, I could finally manage to run for 60 minutes non-stop. Today, I can easily jog for 90 minutes non-stop and I enjoy it very much!
If I cannot make it for morning run because I have morning class to teach, I would replace it in the afternoon/evening. My go-to place for afternoon/night run is definitely a no-brainer: the inner ring road of Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Senayan. Not only it IS intended for specific purpose of running, but the area still also maintains one of the biggest city parks in town.
Another additional physical exercise that I do is burpees. I admit that this is one of the most challenging parts of my whole weight loss regimen because, girl, it IS crazy. I began with only 1 set of 10 burpees which had me dying. Now it takes 5 sets of 10 burpees in order to make me feel like dying. So yes, you will get better at it! Burpees help reduce your belly fat quickly because it is a cardio and core workout at the same time!
6. Hugging Trees
The reason why I aimed for parks as my running track is so that I can touch the trees as I’m running and hug the trees in the final lap! I love hugging trees. I feel safe and loved whenever I wrap my arms around them! I sometimes talk and pour my heart to them. The best thing about it is the trees do not judge! That is why hugging trees is therapeutic, calming, healing and empowering. Be a tree hugger!
I have been practicing meditation for almost 6 years, so it just comes naturally to end the physical workout with inner work: meditating. Meditation helps you connect with your mind, body, and soul. I realized during the meditation the hidden parts of emotions that I carried along with the weight gain: shame, guilt, fear, and dislike. In the meditation, I’m aligning my mind and my soul to work with my body parts and organs to burn more fat and strengthen the muscles with unconditional love. I make sure I’m processing transforming all the shame, guilt, anger and dislike into power, strength and unconditional love so that I can completely carry on with the training full of love and compassion towards myself.
In the end, after 57 days of consistent training, I lost 14 kg. I am getting so much energized and light and this enables me to push my power even stronger during energy delivery in the class. I would like to thank Master Umesh who always knows how to trigger me and helps me breakthrough another wall of ego!
What’s next? It’s all about maintenance. I will share part 2 on how to maintain your weight stable and avoid a relapse! Stay tuned!
Written by BAGIA ARIF SAPUTRA
Anger and Stress Management Specialist Certified Meditation Instructor
The Golden Space