What the Fitness: When Exercise finally won over Excuse
Sometimes, it takes a big slice of your life to realize that it isn’t really OKAY.
And, CHEERS! If that just sounded like your in-built procrastinator crying his lungs out whenever you made time for some casual soul-searching.
Well, it took me a childhood of pampered innocence, half my teenage trying to win over my conflicts with pretentious body-shaming & finally (phew, thank God!) work & motherhood to resolve to literally get fit for life!
With this first ever blog post of mine, I intend to stimulate the dormant fitness aficionado in you to win your best self with an example of none other than yours. To tell you everything about being healthy & happy with absolutely ZERO jargon, which most of the weight loss companies & programs use to scare the hell out of us & eventually make us feel either of the two – “I just can’t afford that!” OR “I just can’t afford to do ALL THAT!”
I could have the better of me from here:
to finally here:
By the way, that’s the most treasured transformation that I’ve had so far. From 72.5 kgs to 62 kgs in 3 months & 2 weeks. Yet one, that was beyond just a number on the weighing scale. And, definitely reaping all the positive vibes.
Health, as the wise men say, is priceless. And the sad part, today, is that although the awareness for fitness & well being is snowballing, it’s always perceived to bear optimal connection with some price or investment. Be it an expensive gym or a Yoga or Zumba class, supplements, pills or, like, whatever. I am going to use this tiny little space to shout out to you that fitness is anything but cashless. Yeah, you read that right! Cashless.
Today, nothing holds us back from drooling over some drop dead gorgeous bodies of celebs. Why is it that we just fantasize about owning a body like theirs by any means, whatsoever? Why don’t we see the positive lifestyle tit-bits of some of these amazing people as an inspiration instead? Steroids, facelifts, botox, pills, liposuction etc are probably the only terms we associate with even the genuine fitness stories.
And, my dear, if you’re a lady, why do we always see a size-zero or the hour-glass figure as the yardstick to perfect femininity?
Well, indeed, there is a whopping fraction of the population which embraces quick fix techniques to hone the “perfect” body.
But is that only about the money? An excuse to give up on something as natural as exercise & clean eating?
The ONLY investment that goes in, is your will power & common sense. Do not go broke upon resolving to a health regime & please, please, oh please do NOT push your limits without coming to realize them. And before you start thrashing me for saying something like that, let me reiterate what I mean by ‘limits‘. Something that a guy trying to knock off his extra weight does like for 3 hours on the first day only to fall flat on the treadmill & never even sniff his gear again!
Fitness is persistence, but not without consistency.
A trot down my lifestyle…
I’ve had my share of experience with crazy crash diets in & out around my late teens, only to boast about achieving the stamina of a 60 year old after a considerable weight loss. Awful muscle cramps, brain fade, & headaches inviting tea addiction were all my perks! Indeed.
I believe it all began when I was a kindergartener, that mum somehow attributed my chronic cough, tonsilitis & flu symptoms to my ‘low’ weight. Well, even today, I see Indian parents worried if their child has visible collar bones! (er…a child is supposed to be chubby all over, right?) While a diet rich in Indian pulses, cereals, fruits (not many though!), nuts & some fish was great to keep me thriving, mum’s concerns often cracked my paediatrician up. She was always reassured that frequent infections in children are as normal as normal can be, & there was no need to gauge my weight over my immunity.
The ‘Oops’ years…
However, with my growing years, my appetite too kept graduating from home-cooked food to a few processed food delights & guilty pleasures in fast food. Ready-to-fry nuggets, French fries, Shawarma (well, I found my first mayo in here!) & bottles of soft drinks to find solace in. And definitely, it started boomeranging during adolescence.
With a BMI of 26 already for the age of 13, acne & lots of lethargy, I found the same mom suddenly feel perturbed for me. And it came as vocal from her always, she was concerned this time too! But then it started irking me as she tried to control the same appetite of mine, which she once struggled to build. This discussion often came as a debate between Mom & Dad. While mom stressed on changing my diet, Dad only emphasized the importance of exercise & physical activities. But by this time, I could only see both the advices as yawn. I even hated the idea of warming up to a few jog positions, let alone exercise, duh!
The almost anorexic turn…
I remember 2005, when my weight had arrived at a threshold scary enough to raise an alarm in just a couple of months. I had developed this strange habit of binging heavily on cookies before studying for my prelims & the board exams (who can deny in India, the boards are a big deal!). Soon though I had pretty nice numbers on my report card, those on my weighing machine were as ugly AF. All the more, how could the body-shamers hold back? However, my sudden grit to lose all that weight & seize that ‘perfect’ shape was something which was incensed not by any reality check, but by vengeance. Or at least something similar to vengeance.
So there I was, starving myself, seeking a crazy perception of seeing the adage,”slim=healthy”.
I did eliminate all the carbs in the form of carbonated drinks, chocolates & other desserts. But then I took the adieu business too far in terms of my nutrition. I deliberated skipped meals & unmindfully cut my portion size to less than half. Fast forward to the result – 10kgs chopped off in 2 months! Without any exercise. Dear workout-haters, that ain’t what I call a motivator. What I had probably lost was some water-weight & a great deal of my fitness, too! Now, obviously nobody wants a thinner frame with an immunity that makes you feel sick & massacred all the time! Neither does anyone have patience to snub those body-shamers again who begin bickering about the loose skin & prominent collar bones on you now!
The funny part was that I had regained all the lost weight in less than 14 months.
Bouncing back harder…
I cannot stop reflecting on how tremendously the 2010’s have been sublime to me. The transition from a student to a professional, to a wife, & finally to a MOM have delegated me to some of the best experiences of self-analysis & a much endearing sense of responsibility like never before.
Mastering the art of multitasking, keeping abreast with your technologies during the sabbatical, & most of all, setting up an example for your ever growing kid! Well, for me now practising Yoga & learning healthy nutrition seem more tempting & intriguing than celebrating shopping time at a sale. And I’m sure most of the mums reading this post would quite relate to the feeling of gearing up to be your L.O’s role model. That’s the charm of parenthood.
And I promise to take you along the nuances of upgrading to a fitter version of yourself. In a way that will NOT induce any yawns or make you open YouTube for some stand up shows! (Psst… I do that when I’m bored!)
With all of this, I just want to make these amazing points about my vision of fitness:
- Fitness is NOT a destination. So you NEVER STOP working towards a healthy lifestyle.
- Fitness isn’t just about weight loss. The numbers on your weighing machine just indicate where you’re heading to. As long as you try to be in the normal BMI range & feel energetic, you’re good!
- Fitness is NOT about achieving a certain size or silhouette. A size that makes you feel comfortable & free all day without the baggage of fatigue or frequent illnesses is something to cherish.
- Fitness is not something you inculcate if you HATE your body. You never hate your body. You just make it a more better place to live in instead. Any feeling induced by hate/self-pity is temporary. So are the results.
- When you work on your fitness goal, share your struggles & progress with your people. Post pictures on your social media. All the support & appreciation will keep you fuelled to work harder & take complacency out of picture!
- Fitness is NOT about having to look ‘perfectly sexy’ in your swimsuit/lingerie. Every human has a unique body type, stature & problem areas.
- Fitness is NOT about only being on a staggering diet. If you don’t exercise or work out, you’re not gonna achieve your health goal (s) by any means.
Exercise is a misunderstood concept, we don’t look at it as something we ought to do as a matter of discipline or health, but something one gets forced or punished to do because of being fat, poor knees, cholesterol, or heart issues.
Do you have a fitness story to tell?
Please share it ASAP to inspire more lives on board…