January 2009 | Tanvii.com - Indian Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Blog

Motivational Tip No.3 by The Drama Queen

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Oh Boy! I never thought motivating people would be so hard. So far I was only struggling to motivate myself, but lately when people ask me to motivate them or guide them I feel this un-controllable urge to-do-what-I-can (to help them). But mostly I try and resist giving lectures to friends and family about health and food etc (unless asked for) because I feel that they will think I am imposing my views on them.

While motivating myself I just have to be good-old-Drama-Queen but motivating others means really trying to tell them all the mumbo-jumbo about health/food and it's benefits. The most frustrating part is when their motivation doesn't last for more than 2 days and we are back to ground zero. Personally, my motivational fight is only against laziness (more like procrastination) and chocolates but other than that I am all good! But people amuse me with their excuses (they call them reasons!!!) for the lack of fitness and healthy eating!

Excuse No. 1 - Do not have time
If you do not have time for yourself then I am not sure who are you living for and why are you living at all?

Excuse No. 2 - Can't kill myself doing this "health-stuff"
You do not want to kill yourself doing it, but I assume you are all right literally killing yourself eventually due to bad health (of course there are a billion other reasons besides your health that you can die, but I bet you wanna avoid as many as possible, specially if they are in your hands!?!?!)

Excuse No. 3 - Have a very busy and happening social-life
You should seriously question your lifestyle if you put social and recreational life before good health. Besides you will only enjoy your social life if you are healthy else you will be either the 'fat' person everyone looks-at or the skinny person whose rib-bones people count! (Terminally-ill-malnutrition(ed)-look is not in anymore! Thank God!)

Excuse No. 4 - Tired after work (everyday!) and not a morning-person!
Wow! No room for improvement here. These are the kind of people I simply give up on. Telling them anything is only waste of my precious time and energy. They will learn when they are ready.

Excuse No. 5 - Lack of motivation and lack of resistance to so-called-good-food
I believe, this is the most common excuse I have heard but the good news is that I feel these kinda people at least have some hope! It's just very exhausting to motivate them every-single-day and try to give them good reason to have a healthy balance diet. I do believe that health consciousness only comes from within but if you know someone is being 'un-healthy'' (like your father!!!) right next to you, how can you not interfere? So, I am struggling here!

However, with every passing day, I am becoming more and more empathetic towards my Super-Mom. My whole childhood she tired to make me conscious about my health (Was I stubborn or was I stubborn!). I simply had to do the opposite of what she was telling me to do :P But tables have turned now. God has imparted wisdom to me and I can't help but impart it to everyone around me. Specially whom I really care about.

Tip No. 3 -
You are the only one who can change your body!
So learn to differentiate between a 'real' reason and an excuse.

Movies, Awards and more Drama

Oh! My God, I saw the Star Screen Awards last night. We had a very busy and exciting weekend which was then followed by the tragedy of Sajid & Farah Khan's comedy! I am so glad Ashutosh Gowariker went on the stage and voiced his opinion about the demeaning comments the brother-sister duo were making at all the winners and guests! It's like they invite them every year to ridicule them.

What bothers me even more is that Sajid defended himself saying, "This is a television show". No! It's not. It's an award function being telecasted on television (as they cannot possible invited the whole world to see the show in-person). If I was one of the nominee and attended the ridiculing ceremony, I would think twice before stepping on the stage because I know they would make a nasty remark about me or not allow me to even give a Thank-You speech! The show has to be hosted in a respectful manner so that you feel honored to be a winner not nervous to go on the stage!

Sajid Khan is simply an obnoxious, ego-centric, mean person. He has one hit to his credits which he keeps calling the "Biggest Grosser of the 2007". I have no clue how that movie even made a dime. It was no better than any other movie (which our country produces in dozens every week).

Moving from Sajid Khan to Slumdog Millionaire (SM)! This movie has been in news and debates for past 4 months now, I think. And it's only gaining momentum with Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.

Was it a good movie? Yes.
Did the cast act well? Yes.
Does it deserve all the accolades? Hmmm ... Ummm ... May be?!?!?!

I think the reason Indians are split between appreciating and criticizing the movie is because we have seen Indian Cinema (including regional movies in language besides hindi) produce better work which goes unnoticed and unappreciated every year. We are proud of A.R.Rahman but we all know he has done much better work than the soundtrack of SM. So we have no option but to believe that the Golden Globes and Oscars are a big hoo-haa only due to the marketing and publicity this movie has received.

All our movies are about lost & found love, where guys jumps hoops and bounds to get the girl back and they live happily ever after (against all odd and obstacles)। But none of those movies even get noticed (many of which might even have better story and performance).

Let's not even get started on how unrealistic and/or stereotypical SM was! I believe in giving the director a chance to paint whatever picture he wants to as long as he can justify it and make it entertaining. So on that front SM was entertaining-quality-movie, with superb editing and treatment. But we (as Indians) are not sure we would like the movie to go down history as on it's the best works portraying India!

Re-thinking my (now married) Life

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Recently it dawned upon me that I am married! No, not in the context of commitment but of responsibility and daily routine mostly. Well, let's go back to how that happened.

I have been happily married for 1.5 years to a very loving and caring man (we'll call him Mr. Fabulous) and these past months have been a steep learning curve for me (in terms of household management). Before this I had never really cooked a full meal or bothered about laundry and ironing or had anything to do with having a monthly budget (My thoughts - Why would anyone need a budget? Life is full of shopping emergencies!!!).

Although, I love learning new things without being taught (weird, eh?). The things is, that, I am quite aware of what I can and cannot do and I prefer to learn on my own (through books, online material, observation). And when I need help; I ask! Until then I do not like being told-to-do-anything! I have already mentioned this in earlier posts, haven't I?

Well, getting back to the original story - So, no matter what I do, I have to be THE BEST at it (like I should be given a title of 'Jack of all trades and Master of them too'!) So I started getting my hands around managing the household, like paying bills, doing the grocery, running odd errands, and most importantly cooking for Mr. Fabulous as he loves food (It was easy to get into his heart, but to stay there forever I have to go through his stomach)

Now after 1.5 years I have learnt everything that is there in running a household and slowly I was losing interest in doing all the cooking and cleaning. So I decided that in January 2009 we will stop cooking for at least a week and order "healthy" take-away(s). But, guess what? it didn't even last for 2 days! There are 4-5 meals in a day and you have to get your hands-dirty (so stay within a budget) and BAM it struck me - I am married! and I will, for the rest of my life, have to (or at least try to) behave like a responsible adult (WHAT???).

P.S. I love being married though. I would highly recommend it to everyone, who can manage to find 'someone' first! (Not 'the one', just someone) :P

I want my own Obama!

"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit, to choose our better history, to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness." - Barack Obama, President of United States of America

I was extremely overwhelmed while watching the Inaugural Ceremony today. Our generation will proudly boast of being part of this historic event. It was inundating to observe the calm on Barack Obama’s face and the pride in his wife Michelle Obama’s eyes. While I am extremely happy for him and the Americans and the people worldwide who believe that Obama stands for hope, but I can not deny that I was (and am still) a little envious too. When I saw the expression of people in the crowd, of joy and happiness, I realized I have never felt (yet!) what these people are feeling. 

At that moment I coveted for that same experience that America was going through. Having that one leader who would stand for hope and joy, who would make you believe that your nation can over come racial-religious-political barriers and break new grounds. I yearn for my country to produce a leader who would stand for “the people” and honor us with this same gratitude and hopefulness. 

Obama’s victory is “human” victory at some level and I do not mean to sound territorial here. None-the-less I yearn for the feeling of pride which was in Michelle Obama’s eyes and the same confidence which was on the faces of people in the crowd and the same optimism which this nation (U.S. of A) is moving forward with. I guess what I am saying is - I want my own Obama! NOW! 


Spreading the terror message

My parents and I usually discuss the current affairs from back home and worldwide, whenever they call ( from the lack of new topics of conversations :P) . Just the other day my Super-Mom brought this to my attention and asked me to shoot a short note to the editor of a daily paper (in Delhi). It was about Osama Bin Laden's call of jihad! He was apparently doing this to place emphasis on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

While I am really bored of his video communications (yawn!) this particular post is addressing the media. I honestly do not understand why they give so much attention and importance to what Osama (or any other terror messenger) has to say. By continuously airing and translating his message (in every language) they are merely providing him with a greater platform to reach everyone with his disarrayed "call". Visual and print media, both should realize that they have a greater responsibility and that they are communicating 'his' message to everyone who may or may not have the best judgement at hand. If it was not for the media, I do not think half the world would know what Osama Bin Laden had to say or that who he even was! 

All forms of media should come together for this forum and ban (restrict) such news from reaching the common man who is not equipped to comprehend it. Media, doubtlessly, requires more stringent filters while choosing their news, specifically, when it involves terrorists or Osama Bin Laden in particular. Simple! 

Question and Answer Session - Part II

DQ2 - I love chocolates and everytime find an excuse (either due to periods, or stress or depression) to have some. I've been told that its due to a deficiency in the body, and that I should take multi vitamins. Is that true or am I making excuses again?

Again, I am no expert but I have read that women experience a magnesium deficiency during menstruation which chocolate is apparently loaded with but the results of the research were inconclusive. There are lots of other foods which are high in magnesium but we do not crave them now, do we? So my best answer would be you are giving yourself another excuse.

In the initial days when I had chocolate cravings I used to go and have the fat free ice cream(once a week), or dark chocolate. However, now I have found an excellent replacement in Protein bars! They are high in protein, make you feel full (as they are also Meal Replacement Bars) and are available in Chocolate Chip and Chocolate brownie and Double Chocolate etc.

DQ2 - Everyone around me has joined the Weight Watchers and have got wonderful results in no time. I very often get tempted to join again but then I look back and remember how I gave up after 2 months of joining the same ages ago. Should I give it another shot?

Even I have heard wonderful things about Weight Watchers so I assume it must definitely work but I cannot tell you whether you should give it another shot or not. It's something you have to decide for yourself. I have not tried it personally though. But no matter what program you join you need to see-it-through till the last stage else nothing would work! If your answer to all the below questions is YES! then you are ready to give it another shot.

Are you ready to give your 100%?
Are you fed-up of your body image?
Will you be able to say NO to all the calories?

At the loss of sounding like just another skinny bitch who is giving a lecture, there is really no other way around it. There is no quick fix! I had had three gym memberships (which went completely waste) before I actually took it seriously! So it's your call.

DQ2 - I have noticed that when I do not eat carbs for a few days I tend to lose weight quicker but I love them... how can I plan meals without it and still feel full?

But who said you have to plan your meals without them? You need carbs for energy and survive the whole day's hard work that you do. Just don't dive into a bread basket every time you are at an Italian restaurant. Choose your carbs smartly. Replace:

Ice Cream, Pasties, Muffins etc. with Protein Bars
Potato Chips with Vegetable Chips, Baked Chips
White bread with Whole Wheat or Multi Grain
(Btw, Oats are excellent source of good carbs)

Recently I had put on 4 pounds (approximately 2 kgs) and then I started eating 5 times in the day and under 1500 calories and in two weeks I lost it without even realizing it. You need to eat low calorie food (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, most vegetables) but more often to kick in your metabolism.

DQ2 - I tend to go out a lot, minimum 2 times weekly. How should I structure my meals so as to avoid junk?

It's a good thing that you go out often. It's less likely you should ever feel deprived of "good" food! But like I said before, eat something at home and go so that you are not really famished.

You have to mentally prepare yourself to choose what is healthy on the menu. You do not have to go for a three course meal every time you head out. Just order one dish and eat it slowly so that you make it last the whole meal and do not eat to fill time in between. There are always salads, soups (not cream soups), baked/steamed dishes. Do not order anything that says fried or deep fried (even worse). Oh! and I almost forgot, definitely skip the desserts.

Do not think every meal you eat out is the last meal of your entire life. Restaurants will always be around and they will continue to make those food dishes even when you go there next time around. So you can just eat enough to fill you up and then stop. Luckily in the U.S. it is acceptable to ask the server to pack half-portion of my food for take away, even before they serve me. That ways I never over-indulge. But if where you live this is not possible then you have no other option but to leave it. There is no shame in letting the food to go waste when you go out since it's not you who decided the serving size there! Don't treat your stomach as garbage-can just to sweep the dishes clean!

DQ2 - Can I have alcohol?

Honestly, you cannot. I didn't have any alcohol for one whole year when I was trying to shed weight. Cocktails and hard liquor is loaded with unwanted calories that you just wanna avoid pilling on. However, worst-come-to-worst scenario, if you have to drink then have a glass of Red Wine.

The silver lining to all these sacrifices would be an awesome-fit-body which you would feel comfortable and confident in. None of these dramatic food and lifestyle changes are permanent. You would be able to get back to 'normal' lifestyle (relatively) once you have achieved your goals. But, believe-you-me, by the end of the journey these choices would have become a part of your life and you would actually love the clean food and life. All you gotta have is patience and determination from within. I am afraid no one else can give you that!

I hope I am able to answer all your questions Drama Queen No. 2.

Good Luck!

Question and Answer Session - Part I

In last 10 days, since I started writing, everyone has relentlessly asked me about my eating habits and diet plans. I guess, I am not surprised because we immediately think - 'food' when we want to loose weight. (I know, we also think 'food' when we are happy, sad, bored, or have nothing else to think) Although, in my experience its 50% food and 50% exercise which helped me! I am gonna try and answer the questions of my very sweet friend (... let's call her Drama Queen No.2 or a.k.a DQ2) who is currently struggling on her path to fitness!

Alert! However, I am no expert in this area and am only sharing my experiences and knowledge (I have gained from books, interactions, etc.). Everyone should definitely consult their trainers, dietitians, or doctors before quoting me on anything! :o) [Don't say I didn't warn you :P]

This Q&A will be in two parts. Here we go...

DQ2 - We read books, take advice from different ppl, join groups (i.e weight watchers, south beach diets, etc.) and get extremely motivated initially. I very often find myself going slack after a couple of weeks or months. How should one maintain that motivation to reach one's goal?

Personally, there is no one correct answer to this question. To find motivation for yourself you will have to be honest with yourself. I am sure you see yourself in the mirror everyday. That should be a motivation enough! If you do not like what you see and tell yourself to do something about it every-single-day you will stay motivated. Set small goals (weekly) for yourself. When you achieve them you will feel gratified and motivated. I promise you!

You really need to want it badly, else you are not going be to able to stay motivated for long. Write down what you want and put it up on your wall and let it be a reminder to you at all times. Whenever you start slacking think of why you started on this path in the first place. Talk to people who motivate you. May be hire a personal trainer, they will keep tabs on you. Weekly assessment would want you to prove yourself to them. But all of these are just tools to help you, you really need to want it from within (like anything else in life)!

DQ2 - Healthy lifestyle (food, exercise, being active) is extremely important. What should one do if in an unhealthy environment?

Be strong. Stay focused. Have dinner at home and then go so that you are not hungry and tempted to eat everything that comes your way!

If you are just over at someone's place for dinner then eat in small portions (you don't wanna be rude, of course). Make sure there is food on your plate (so that no one pesters you to eat "stuff"). But no-one said you have to eat it all in 5 mins. Make it last for the whole meal. And most importantly talk to people. If you are talking you would be eating as much! Very simple! :o)

However if you are staying over at someone's place then tell them in advance what you eat. No one would mind. Everyone wants to make their guests happy (and if they mind, then they are so stuck-up - Don't visit them :P) Make healthy choices from the options you are given. If it's all unhealthy and drowning in oil then I suggest just drink water and simply pretend to move your spoon in the food and throw it at the first chance you get. But I doubt that would happen!

DQ2 - Sometimes due to stress we tend to indulge without realising it. What should be done to bring back that focus on oneself?

I generally plan my whole week's food in advance. I keep minimal snacks at home. That way I have no choices available to indulge into. It's not at all as hard as it sounds. When you go for grocery next make sure you already know what you are going to make with it so that you do not buy anything else but what you really require!

Divide your 5 meals for the day in advance. Make a mental (or written) note of what you are going to eat and you are more likely to stick to it. One only indulges when they are hungry and they do not know what to eat. I always have chopped lettuce and salad stuff ready because it's easy to toss together and quite filling. (e.g. You can have 100 calorie microwavable pop-corns!)

DQ2 - Everyone's metabolism is different yet one tends to get upset seeing others producing results quicker than them. How should one change his outlook on this?

Why get upset? Get jealous! Hate them! ( I mean, don't tell them that though!) Have that burning desire to do better than them. Tell yourself, oh! they are loosing fast, so they will put it all back on that quickly too! I know, it's mean but it's true. The practical and consistent your weight loss is the longer it's going to stay with you. I am a living example of all the trial and errors of this game!

DQ2 - How can one solve a binging problem?

Partially, I have already answered this above - Plan your meals. If you are full and satisfied you are not going to have any space in your stomach to binge! But let's say, one day you do loose your self-control, then burn it out in the gym the next day, walk a couple of extra miles, don't take the bus/tube that day and walk till the safest distance, drink a lot of water to flush it out, don't use the elevator, basically punish yourself! If you do something wrong, you gotta pay!

Continued on the next post ... Soon!

Motivational Tip No.2 by The Drama Queen

The drama always has to continue. My brain needs stimulants to even move a finger. It has to be charged and oiled with lots of drama and then more. Whenever my brain starts heading towards the stationary zone I have to 'intentionally' look for more ideas (and situations) to keep myself motivated.

For example, adventure movies are an all-time motivation generator! Movies like Vertical Limit (2000), Cast Away (2000), Six Days Seven Nights (1998) and many more. I imagine to be stuck in same situations (as the characters in the movie) and then analyze how 'FIT' am I to deal with what's happening to them. Now, imagine, if Chris O'Donnell & Robin Tunney were fat (using this term loosely here) or if Harrison Ford hadn't kept himself in shape and Anne Heche didn't have those lean legs. I can promise you they would not have survived in those extreme situations! I know, this is like 'super' dramatic but hey! it works for me. I would not want to be "Hurley" (character from LOST) stuck on an island without any food but with 200 pounds of weight on me! I would want to be Irish in another lifetime though ... (but that story is for another time).

Besides all the drama, I also view my fitness as an investment in my future. If I take care of my body today, it will avoid having to bill hundreds of dollars to doctors and medicines later (or even now). I really, would rather travel and shop with that money! And on the upside of all the sweat I drain out of my body, I end up looking fabulous! That's gotta do it! Here I am just back from a workout and writing this but already motivated to go back to the gym (if I had to, but I won't :P)

Tip No.2 -

Think of fitness as an investment for a better tomorrow.
No one would want to live on medicines!

My Fit-to-Staying Fit Journey

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Once I started enjoying work-out it was not really that hard to stay motivated. The release of endorphins was so addictive that I would stay high on life just by exercising. I almost wanted to move-in at the gym itself (Only, if they would let me). I had gone completely fitness-crazy because I was seeing results - my waist line was decreasing, weight was dropping, skin was glowing ... there was nothing more I wanted in my life.

Every week I would set goals for myself. I would (Believe it or not!) reach them and then strive harder to stay there. It had become my own-small-little-entertainment of sorts! But I think what helped me the most, at this stage, was that I had surrounded myself with people (God helped) who had similar goals (mostly at the gym or group classes). I tried to block all negativity from anyone telling me - Oh! You have become too weak or the glow from your face is disappearing, etc. etc. Trust me, nothing of sorts was happening. My family just likes chubby people :o)

I blocked all these people from my "fitness-crazy-brain" and only focused on where (in terms of health) I wanted to be and how! I just followed my body's (and trainer's) instructions. When I felt I am tired, I stopped but when I had it in me, I went full-throttle! I never wanted to be tooth-pick skinny, I sure knew that! I just wanted to be fit-firm-and-healthy! And for me healthy (read: sexy) body images where not Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie, they were Charlie Theron and Halle Berry.

To maintain what I had achieved and to motivate myself to go for that last mile, I simply had to focus on staying positive. I was almost falling prey to the last minute exhaustion and temptation to give up. For everyone who thinks entering the gym (or to start working-out) is hard, they are in for a surprise - What is hard is to continue going after you have achieved your first set of results! Well, I just kept my old (read: fat) pictures handy so that whenever I am about to take things for granted, I can have a reality check! (one look at them and I was ready for another sprint around the whole city! TWICE :P)

5 Things I did to stay Fit

- Weighed myself once a week (same time)
- Wrote down everything I eat (Even if it was - 1 toffee)
- Ate fibrous fruits & vegetables
- Had dessert only once a week
- Avoided using the car as much as possible

"Food is an important part of a balanced diet."

Quote by Fran Lebowitz, 'Food for Thought and Vice Versa'. I couldn't have said it better! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE food but I don't live to eat. I live to enjoy life, learn, dance, travel, shop and more.
I didn't reach at this wisdom in one day. It took me years of motivation, dedication and a conscious decision to change my lifestyle (not just my body). I know people have fancy ways of describing 'eating-habits' (which are probably true, but sound scary to me) like - stress eating, emotional eating, boredom eating, etc. I would hate to see myself categorized into any of these categories. I think I just ate because I had no self-control and no real knowledge of what I was doing to my body.
If there was a plate of cookies in front of me; it was the purpose of my existence (on this planet) to finish them or else I wouldn't survive. It was somehow engraved in my brain that if it's on the table then it's there to be eaten and should not go back to our (or anyone else's) kitchen! Oh, my poor Super-mom would try to stop me from eating (scold me with her eyes) but once I knew that she had that power over me, I stopped making any eye contact with her at all (Wasn't I smart?:P). But now I know better - Food is there to satisfy hunger and make me feel healthy & energetic. It's not there to make me feel happy for a while, and then eventually gross and stuffed!
When I initially started working-out (with the aim to lose weight) I only lived on vegetables (less-to-none oil), fruits (low in fat content), and salads. Veggie Delite from Subway was my best friend (I mean salad with NO dressing, not sub!). I also had oats with non-fat milk (or Soy Milk) and whole grains but NO sweets (EVER), NO alcohol, and NO Cheat Days either. I had clear goals and I was willing to do anything to get there. I never starved though, I just ate what was right. My Dad (a.k.a. Super-dad) could never understand that. He thought I was torturing myself (and of course he thought I looked perfect as I was) but I had to fight all these loving people because I knew what I was doing was right and healthy.
I think with food, I mostly had to fight temptations and people sweet-talking me into tasting various foods (which of course they thought I was missing out on). It's very hard to keep saying no to everyone without eventually being rude. So I started skipping dinners where I didn't know the hosts (to ask for a salad). When I went for friends' birthdays I simply held an apple juice and pretended it was a drink, so that I am not asked over and over again to have "just one drink" (200 calories).

Ah! But at last when I did reach my goal I started eating EVERYTHING again (Happy Times) in small portions. Now the focus had turned to staying there rather than getting there. Well, that's all together, another ball game. Let me just say - It never gets easy but it's worth all the effort and all the calories you say NO to! It pays to be a NO! Man! [or Woman :o)]


Motivational Tip No.1 by The Drama Queen

I believe motivation requires a little bit of drama. I have always had to think in superlative extremism and blow things out of proportion (well, being realistic as much as possible) and then go for it! I hold on to any thought that motivates me and helps me to go in the direction I always wanted to! (Oooh - Fitness ... AND Philosophy)

No one can ever MAKE me do anything (Ask my Mom) :P I know that all the world's trainers-diets-health foods-fat loss pills cannot replace my own will to be FIT. Absolutely NOTHING else will work and this is coming from a person who had tried everything possible to lose weight "quickly". There is no quick way around the body.

I had always been a 'cute-chubby' kid (big-boned-broad-structured) and now I think this was just an excuse for not being 'fit'. My Mom (Let's call her Super-Mom) ... so my Super-Mom tried her best to cajole me (and my brother) into all sorts of exercises when I was growing up- Swimming, Badminton, Taekwando, etc. But I just wouldn't give my 100%, simply because I was being 'told-to-do-so'. To be honest I never really thought I was FAT. I was just not skinny and that was fine with me, until I realized (more like SHOCKED) that I was actually FAT!

I found extremely hard to motivate myself to do something about it. When I did go to the gym, I found it even harder to stay there long enough to do any serious exercising. On the down side, by going to the gym I started believing that I could eat anything I want. Psychologically I was working-out now, so I deserved to treat my self (but what - EVERYDAY?)!

However, 5 years ago when (I think!) my fitness-journey actually began, I derived motivation from jealousy! I gawked upon everyone whom I considered fit (my ex-roommates, celebrities, colleagues). Specifically and most importantly I drew my motivation from people who were once in my shoes but today were FIT. So if they could do it then I DEFINITELY could (because, you see, I am above everyone :P)! This, probably, was the turning point! The competitiveness in my brain led me to see the light ... ! But the best part is that those people didn't even know I was competing with them. (Isn't that the best kind of competition! - You always win :P)

So the Tip (No.1) here is - 

Draw motivation from things you see "Everyday"
Only then you will be able to stay motivated "Everyday"

Ghajini - A Debacle or a Miracle?

Let me answer that question right away - It's a Miracle in my eyes! With everyone bashing it down it's still making millions and breaking records (it's 'cool' to dislike this movie or what?). Although I have been accused (by myself :P) of being an intransigent Aamir Khan fan, I would just like to give the guy his due. I simply appreciate his hard-work and dedication and hell - no one can deny that his acting is top-notch! I am going to take the liberty (I'm sure the producers won't mind) and clarify 5 accusations which I have heard most, being made towards the movie:

1. It's too violent! 
Hello??? It's an ACTION movie which was quite visible in the promotion and trailers. If you didn't wanna see violence why'd you go for it? Besides, apart from the last 30 minutes of the movie there isn't "much" violence to complain about. So, STOP being a baby about it. 

2. Asin's character was 'goody-two-shoes'
When is a Hindi movie actress (or actor for that matter) not a goody-two-shoes? I thought she had a touch of Sridevi and a very expressive face. Infact, SRK's character in RNBDJ was almost a wanna-be goody-two-shoes itself, if nothing more.

3. It's a copy of Momento
... and your point is? So what if it's a sparsely influenced by an another good movie? Half the Hindi movies made are a copy of each other if not straight away taken off from a Hollywood film. This one at least boosted of some addition and subtraction to the script(I do appreciate the work of new directors who broke all grounds last year and made movies absolutely NEW to Indian Cinema) 

4. It's a Masala movie
And who said otherwise? But it was good Masala movie, with excellent music score from A.R.Rahman, total filmy action, decent romantic angle, and an item song along with some excellent acting. So I don't know again - why the 'complaining' ? It definitely doesn't deserve an Oscar nomination but it was a total Paisa Vasool!

5. It was not what they expected from Aamir
That was the point. He was trying to do old-style-regular Indian Masala film, getting away from the realistic-world. But of course people try to see logic where it's not required. They want more perfection from "The Perfectionist" (and what? - Only Drama from SRK). I'll settle for that! Expecting more from Aamir can only mean good for him ...

So I guess what I am trying to say is that the movie was always meant to be everything people are 'accusing" it to be, they just didn't like it. And just because some people didn't like it (which is absolutely acceptable), it doesn't mean it's not worth a watch! 

P.S. 2 weeks since it's release and still going strong! [Am I fan or what? :P]

My Fat-to-Fit Journey

Fat to Fit Journey, Tanvii.com
photo circa 2015
Over the past 5 years I have been often asked how I lost all "my" (like it was something I was holding on to) weight, which is then followed by 'how I manage to stay in shape' even after "marriage".  Today seems to be the day when I am exceptionally motivated to share my story like they say and hence the reminiscing ...

For couple of years I lived and worked in London. With zero social life and the depressing weather, to my surprise I had shed the first 4-5 kgs by sheer laziness to cook. My routine composed of going to bed early and waking up and heading to work straight. However once it dawned upon me that God was finally helping me, I too decided to contribute my share. I joined a gym for the n'th time.  In a twisted way my sad-lonely life was a blessing in disguise as to kill time and delay getting home I decided to walk to and from work (Total of 6-7 kms in a day). Before I knew I fell in love with walking!

So here I was walking all over London to run errands, go to work, shopping, everything!!! But I still had these weekends where I had more time to kill ... so I joined Pilates (Love It)! Within 6 months of making all these life-altering decisions I had now lost about 10kgs without any real dieting! And this was, now I realize, actually the easy part!  

Homesickness took me back to Delhi, for good! I didn't waste any time and joined a gym the VERY next day I landed. But it was proving really difficult to lose the last couple of inches I was desperate of get rid of. I should also mention at this point I was addicted to working-out and couldn't live without breaking-into-a-sweat every single day! And this time I went all out. Did various activities throughout the week including Salsa, Spinning, Yoga, Step Classes, etc. I lost inches but NO weight! But I didn't give up. I made further more changes to adapt my lifestyle to being healthy with lots of fruits, vegetables, yogurt and less sugar & carbs (I am a Vegetarian). One year in India, still no weight-loss but got a LOT leaner and fitter body. But even now I was obsessing with weight. I wanted to see it on the scale which was not happening. So I attempted my luck with Personal Training. This too only helped me get leaner but no significant weight loss. 

After one year and six months of living in Delhi I managed to stay on the same weight and loose a few inches.  Then I moved to U.S. after marriage and workout took a back seat for the next six months. Come New Year and I felt disgusted, depressed and lethargic about my whole health condition so I decided to get back to my gym (I did join the gym as soon I landed in U.S. but just didn't manage to enter it) !!! Oh-well, here I stepped on the weighing scale after 6 months of no workout and I have LOST another 5kgs! MAGIC??? - No! Well, I was doing a A LOT of house work which helped in the absence of "real" exercise - cleaning, dishes, laundry, and also a lot of walking (No Driving License, you see !!!) 

I was back with a BANG! I joined the gym, hired a personal trainer, again started eating 5 healthy meals in a day and I had lost another few kgs and a HUGE fat percentage! Before I realized the whole year passed-by and I didn't gain a single inch or ounce (since 5 years!) Now I just merely continue to do the same and eat smartly! Also have gone back to "my Pilates" (Like I OWN it :P)! It's amazing but more about that later. 

5 Health Lessons I learnt in 5 Years

- Never Give Up and Try Harder 
- Eat small portions of everything
- Workout at least 4/5 times a week
- Make health one of your priorities like Career!
- Stay Active on your feet! Move as much as possible
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