WEIGHTY ISSUES

Determination is the key but let your common sense judge whether you really need to go on a determined diet.

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Never have I ever thought that losing weight would be a source of my worry.

I’m not usually the kind who goes on multiple crash diets, exercises beyond normal capacity and frets over a mere two-pound weight gain because, hello, I’m not an aspiring model.

That said, I would be on tenterhooks if I start gaining weight over the two-pound limit because I might not be aiming to be the next Naomi Campbell but I still want to be able to wear all the pretty dresses and fit into my favourite jeans.

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In a nutshell, I’m just an average girl who tries her best to maintain her size without going overboard.

I did go overboard though and it happened over three months ago. I was motivated by one of my friends, who tried an effective low-calorie diet and high-intensity gym workouts to shed her “post-pregnancy weight”. It worked for her and I set out on following her footsteps.

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The only problem was there was no baby weight to lose for me. If anything, I was close to underweight. I just thought it would be fancy to shed a couple of pounds for an insignificant upcoming occasion at my natal home.

So when someone asked why I wasn’t having biryani for supper, I was prepared to stylishly say, ‘Oh, I’m on a low-carb diet,’ followed by a decent, self-satisfied smile.

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‘I just came home from a heavy workout. Phew!’ I threw that complacent statement at anyone who phoned me in the morning.

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‘You know I’m beginning to like oatmeal,’ I used to say, reluctantly gulping down the gooey gunge down my throat, because it sounded sophisticated and glamorous to my ears.

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Well, the oatmeal fantasy lasted just a day as it tasted like crap and smelled like cat vomit. (Sorry for the terrible picture I have painted)

So, basically, I’ve denied myself of everything I’ve loved for maybe . . . I don’t know . . . five days, perhaps. That’s the maximum number of days I could survive without my staple foods like rice, flatbread, yummy spicy curries and fatty, high-calorie laden desserts.

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At the end of the fifth day, one sentence from my aunt was enough to make me forget about my waistline.

‘This is the age when you’ll be able to eat everything you want. Don’t shun food. Gorge on all the dishes you like except for toxic ones like junk food, and then work out to burn those calories. You don’t even need all that heavy gym equipment for your body. One hour of walking or yoga will do.’

I quoted the whole dialogue for the sake of readers. My generous aunt lost me the moment she said, ‘Don’t shun food.’ That was the mild push I needed to stuff my face with the inviting chicken fritters and chocolate pastries in the refrigerator.

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Probably, a month later, one fine day, I climbed on the weighing scale to check my weight after noticing my outfits getting baggy. To my horror, it showed four pounds less than I used to be. I was worried because I stopped dieting two months ago and neglected exercise due to some engagements (mostly lazing around with books). So, the drastic fall in the number shocked me.

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I started feeling sick immediately. I told every one related to me about this and started making them worry too. To add to my woes, Google diagnosed me with about twenty-four diseases.

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So I braced myself for anything that might come my way, went to a departmental store, bought two Black Forest gateaux, two medium-sized boxes of Ferrero Rocher and a large bucket of chocolate ice cream.

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Hey, hey, hey, don’t judge me. I was trying to get my lost weight back so that Google could shove its prognosis up its virtual arse.

And I did. I got those four pounds back within four weeks. But honestly, even a stick would turn into a trunk if it eats nothing but creamy sugary desserts. But at least I can stop worrying for now.

So the moral of my story is—don’t go to extreme lengths to lose or gain weight. Let it happen naturally.

What I did was very unhealthy. The steps I took to lose weight for no proper reason—remember I wasn’t even overweight—and then the garbage I had to eat to gain the lost weight. Both were extremes and detrimental to my health.

If you want to lose those extra kilos, then follow a proper, healthy diet instead of starving yourself and straying from your habitual regime. Sweat it out instead of lolling around. Determination is the key but let your common sense judge whether you really need to go on a determined diet.

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In the same way, if you want to gain weight, don’t rely on sugared stuff that harms your health. Instead, increase your food portions and have homemade desserts made with brown sugar or date syrup, which are relatively healthy.

But that doesn’t mean you could skip your workout. Exercise doesn’t just burn calories; it also keeps you fit as a fiddle to be able to enjoy desserts even at the age of sixty.

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HEALTH IS WEALTH

 

A TRIED-AND-TESTED FITNESS MANTRA . . .

. . . is to sit back and gorge on potato chips. I bet this single sentence would excite lazy people so much that within the tiny time gap between the first sentence and the one that is to follow, they would hurry to the nearest shop and buy a box of butter cookies.

Here’s a news flash to all those sluggards whose butts are attached to their couches as if there’s a layer of Fevicol allying them together. FITNESS IS NOT JUST ABOUT WEIGHT CONTROL. IT’S ALSO ABOUT HEALTH SAFETY.

So, it’s like this. Every hour you spend on a chair subtracts that many years from your life. And every minute you spend exercising doubles your life span and increases the chances of hearing your grandchildren call you grandma or grandpa. I know it’s super painful to embrace old age and be called a grandma or a grandpa but hey, it’s better than being nonexistent, right?

Life becomes busier if you add a workout to your morning or evening routine but trust me your French fries and that extra hour of sleep won’t matter if you think about the possibility of living an extra year. You see, I love life. Given a chance, I would love to keep on living till the end of the world. And even after that, I would want to keep breathing and watch the proceedings of the universe. Since that’s an unrealistic prospect, I at least want to make sure that I get to live my life to the fullest with the people I love. Hence, I urge them—force them, is a more appropriate word because people are just so damn lazy—to walk, run, exercise, meditate, do yoga, anything that makes them healthier than the previous day.

Just two hours a day would add years to your life, the worth of which people realize only when it’s too late. That Coca Cola is slowly burning your insides, that burger is filling you up with thick layers of fat, that sumptuous Mc D meal is your Darth Vader . . . But you could really curb those ill-effects by suppressing your lethargy and giving importance to wellness rather than indulgence.

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I’m no Baba Ramdev. But lately, I’ve realized the significance of health and have been following the basic sutras as much as I can. Trust me, working out every morning and donning running shoes in the evening is so distressing that my eyes fill with tears and I end up asking myself, ‘Why??? I’m in good shape physically, then why do I have to do it?’

The answer is simple—To be the picture of health until my last day.

I understand that every person has commitments and they have a lot going on in their lives—work, kids, family, cooking, school, college, whatnot. But none of that matters when you become sick. All you would want is to escape from that darn hospital.

That said, you don’t have to live the life of a hardline health enthusiast. We can have cheat days. We cheat during exams so there’s no harm in cheating on a diet as long as you keep it in check. You’re not giving up anything valuable by following a proper regime in terms of health. You’re doing yourself so much good that you won’t fail to see the results.

Health is indeed wealth because money can be earned while health can’t. So, it doesn’t harm to dedicate an hour or two for the sake of you and your loved ones.

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A step forward towards a blooming vigor