Sunday, June 10, 2018

14 things my fitness journey taught me


I have been meaning to write this post for more than a couple of months now but something stopped me every time. Lack of time can perhaps be one of the plausible reasons. But the big reason was that I wasn’t mentally there yet to share what all I had learned, where all I faltered, what were my takeaways and everything in between.

Now, I have gathered courage, time and my share of learnings to share with the world. Please do note that this post is NOT about how to lose weight. Also my opinion is purely mine based on my journey, it may not resonate with you at all. But the idea of this post is to simply tell you my experiences and leave it for you to find out what part of it you can tweak and take in your journey.

Without further ado…

  1. It’s not the weight-loss. It indeed is fitness journey.
The moment you make that shift in your brain, your efforts and energy become more focused.

  1. That tipping point
A breakup? An upcoming summer trip? No. Not those kinds of tipping points I am talking about. Mine was that number on the weighing scale which I hadn’t ever seen in my life. I was scared of what was in store if I continued my lifestyle that way. And so I had to make a change there and then and onward.

  1. Start small
That is, if you are someone who can’t make a complete shift to her lifestyle. I went cold-turkey one morning on all things evil and junk and never quite looked back. However, you can start with one small yet significant change at a time.

  1. The Science is simple
You need to be in calorie deficit to be able to lose weight and this doesn’t mean you starve. Just eat less calories than the required calories.

  1. Fix your food and then fix how you are going to spend those calories
80% is food and 20% is exercise in getting fitter. Work on your food first and then choose the kind of exercise to expend that energy.

  1. Swap it right
Namkeens and biscuits with nuts. Sugar with coconut sugar, honey, jaggery. Desserts with dates. You get the idea.

  1. Moderation is THE bomb
Eat white rice or a chapati or drink a beer or two, but remember the portion size. Don’t stuff yourself. You are not going to die if your stomach is 80% full but you’ll definitely be uncomfortable with extra bites you downed in taste.

  1. The workout routine
Find something that doesn’t look like a huge task. I did 3 days bodyweight exercises and 3 days brisk walk and run sometimes. I am constantly looking to engage myself in a workout that I enjoy. Right now, I am doing an hour of yoga because of a hurt knee. Explore what all is there and start. Just start with a walk. Join a Zumba or Yoga class. Do bodyweight and functional class because it makes you stronger and increases your stamina. Just always keep pushing boundaries; your body will surprise you with amazing results.

  1. Remember it all adds up
Small changes in diet, an hour of physical activity, good 7 hours sleep and one rest day, it all adds up. No kidding on this part.

  1. The real enemy
No, potatoes and bananas are not the real enemy. That soft drink, that bag of chips, those fried goodies, those sugar loaded bakery delights, unsupervised amount of pasta, and the likes. Yeah, those are not your friend.

  1. The balancing act
I did a low-carb (can’t call it Keto because I did have lot of things that were non-keto) diet but I won’t recommend it anyone. You need to have a balance. Have complex carbs like oats or whole grains along with some source of protein for breakfast. Make your lunch whole with a tiny portion of complex carbs, lot of veggies, some form of protein, dahi and salad. Be free to skip carbs in the dinner completely. You get the drift, right? Stay in balance. Yo-yo or crash diets won’t help you long term.

  1. Cheat meal is ok, cheat day is not
By all means go ahead and have a cheat meal once a week or every two weeks but don’t make it the whole day. Having a cheat meal keeps you disciplined. I never had a cheat meal but then I never missed anything.

  1. It’s totally the journey
That process of losing inches and fitting into old clothes, that dread to head for a workout and then relishing that sweaty glow. Damn! I have not lost a kg in last few months, but I am enjoying this phase because I never set out with a target timeline in mind. It’s a journey and I intend to keep exploring and getting fitter, one day at a time.

  1. Do it for yourself
And for that feeling into old clothes, and for that post-workout sweaty glow. Don’t do it for the partner, spouse, parents, neighbours, colleagues and strangers. And yes, be kind to yourself. It’s your journey. Own every bit of it.

So, tell me what all worked for you, what have been your learnings.



Saturday, December 31, 2016

10 Things 2016 Taught Me That No Other Year Ever Did

It is not just another new year’s eve for me. I don’t say it because I am in a different city, away from mote papa and moti momma, not indulging in our new year’s eve staple dinner of pav bhaji and gajar ka halwa and watching Victoria Secret annual show at midnight (although I will do it anyway). I say it because this year broke me emotionally but I am writing about it on the last afternoon of the year means I survived. 

Believe me I drove so many people away because I wasn’t my best this year. But it wasn’t in me really. What is left of me now is a fragile, vulnerable, sensitive mess but I can’t wait for a brand new year to start and feel better and stronger.

What this year taught me will take me sometime to absorb but I wanted to pen down what all I could to look back at it next new year’s eve and smile that I survived. 

1.  That I am not that good with people like I believed myself to be when this year began.

2.  That falling in and then falling out of love is my thing. No, seriously. Don’t believe me? Let’s meet over coffee and I’ll take you through my year’s love snippets. And yes, I still call it all love. 

3.  That money is important. Be it your higher-level dreams of quitting your job, go location neutral, travel and work from wherever you can to middle-class dreams to buy yourself a beer or a coffee whenever you want, load your bookshelf with all the classics you have been meaning to read, fill your closet with beautiful clothes, you need money. If your heart melts looking at kids on the roadside or old people begging and you want to do something about them, which too needs money. This year taught me that having some money in the bank account is a textbook rule to be followed to the T.

4.  That there is no one other than family who will stand by you, maybe because they are supposed to but also because they wish your best in every way. They aren’t and shouldn’t be taken for granted. I could write friends too but they are human and your incessant nagging and sulking can make them lose their shit sometimes and then you will realize you should have had some filter to not burden them with your entire emotional trauma. 

5.  That love is confusing. That sex is underrated. That being friendzoned is a real shit.

6.  That I can stay quiet, without social media apps for as long as I desire. This handicap that I had for being social 24X7 was just in my head. And I broke it. Twice this year. I am on one such detox right now too.

7.  That two people can be good on paper (or in bed) but can still not be together emotionally in the real world.

8.  That I can cook, if it comes to that. And no, not just Maggi.  

9.  That I have spent so many days and nights crying this year, I think I am done and bored with it for life. Next scene please.

10.That I love Bombay more than I ever thought. Even when I am stuck in a traffic jam for a while, the very thought that I am in Bombay is enough to thrill me (yes, I am crazy that way). My new year’s eve is by myself in my favorite city and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. 

Now I have to wrap this up, I have learnt enough lessons this year. Time to lace up the shoes, go to south Bombay, roam the streets, eat lot of street food (because salary isn’t in yet and I am broke, ya tell me about it), sit at Marine Drive and ring in the new year. A new year in a new city, with new hopes (don’t kill me for the clichés, that’s my current state of mind).

Happy 2017 to all of you! Eat, drink, make love not war, and do some yoga too! :)