Back in 2010, I cropped a pair of jeans which I believed made me look fat and made them into these short (or jeans -> shorts = jorts!). I have never regretted doing that. In fact I have gotten more use out of these shorts than I did of the jeans or I have of any other shorts that I own.
I have told my story. One too many times. Now I want to learn and share stories of people who inspire me, and make me want to push the envelope day after day. On my recent trip to New York, I caught up with Tamanna over drinks. I hadn't seen her in person since 2010. And boy! was I surprised. She was looking absolutely stunning and so fit, quite a drastic difference from what I had remembered seeing her last. I could not resist asking her to share her story, not just with me but you all too. I am humbled that she obliged and took out time from her busy schedule. After talking to her, I was so motivated to start running. I hope her post will have a similar effect on you. Please welcome, Tamanna Sheikh ...
I saw two contrasting Running incidents today while on my morning run. An Indian dad wearing his pants and tee, with his wife fully dressed in salwar kurta and dupatta, running. Its always a little amusing no matter how cool, to see Indians in absolute non-exercise clothing, exercising. But they were running. Period. A little behind the couple was running a young (sorta cute) Indian guy, pushing them; yelling "Go go!" and "Nice!". I presumed he must be their son.
A little further on my run, I saw a Caucasian couple, a young one, (in proper exercise clothes, to add, although unnecessary), running, with the woman pushing the baby cram along as she ran. The baby in the crib was obviously unaware and playful without a care.
Such contrasts are beautiful. Here's a son pushing his parents and here are parents pushing the baby. Running. Exercising. It'd be beautiful if more and more people exercised. Did some sort of work out. No, you don't have to run. No, you don't have to swim. No, you don't have to lift weights alone. You can do whatever you like. You can do whatever you enjoy. But exercise. The feeling of fitness, healthfulness, is one that cannot be matched. It's only after you start working out, that you realize how underutilized the human body is, at any given time. Day one, you will be devastated to realize that your magnificent looking or feeling body is actually not capable of lifting 5lbs for ten reps or running a mile. And after a few days (of training), you will be amazed at how the body does exactly the same things with absolute ease. And such realization, is triumph. You've made your way towards signifying and prioritizing exercise in routine. You're building a healthier future. When the glamour days of youth will be over, when pumping it in the gym will no longer be an agenda to merely look good, all those years you did pump it, all those years you did jog, will be the years that the effects of exercise will be most prominent in. Your body will be beautiful from within. A beautiful heart, beautiful lungs, an absolutely stunning vascular system! And although your hair will grey and skin will wrinkle, your smile will be free of worries and your life, free of disease!
I was fat, unhealthy and unfit. One day, in Austin, in a moment of solitude as I watched my body in the full length mirror in front of me, I literally cringed. It was a sudden shock of horror. "What have you become? You're the girl who was such a fitness freak! You were the one who wouldn't want to miss a session at the gym! You're the one who had the perfect vital stats! What have you become, Tamanna?!" I had packed pounds of fat on my body everywhere. At that moment, I promised myself that I shall change this around the time I move to New York City. There is no way a so style-conscious me is going to have this in the city of my dreams. There is no way a beautiful body can be allowed to sediment like this.
I'm not at the top level as I write this. But I've come a long way. I've come down from a US 11 to US 4. As I write this, maybe even a 2. I've melted my adipose off by working off my butt and eating right. I feel healthy and fit. I feel slimmer. Most importantly, I feel proud of giving back; giving back to my marvelous body the care it provides to me every single day. And what to speak of the visible results?! Counting calories does not seem agonizing at all after hearing almost everyone you know say, "You've slimmed down and you look more gorgeous!" It's worth it. If it adds up to your confidence, it sure as hell is worth it.
And I ran no marathons or did not starve myself. I just incorporated regularity in my exercise schedule and a personal pledge to eat right. And now I love it! I'd have it no other way. Running is not a mere exercise; it's a fantastic stress-buster. I started off in Austin, with a mile. And that extracted the life out of me. Yes! Just a mile. But I persisted. That's half won right there. So at this point I'm also thankful to the AID Austin Chapter and my ex, for somewhere being an indirect support to persist. Before I could do better at running, I had to move to the fabulous New York. With the support systems shutting down, I was ironically even more determined to persist in my endeavour. I made it a point to run every other day, be it just a mile. Before I knew it, I was running two, and three, and four, and more, and comfortably. Weekly runs. Longer weekend runs. Cross training in the form of crash core workout sessions. Occasional Pilates. Sometimes a crappy game of tennis too. All of this augmented by a good diet plan—really, no plan as such; just cutting down on extremely bad-calorific food, like doughnuts, chips, etc. Much credit also to the NY lifestyle. Then one day, I stood in front of the mirror again. And watched. Every nook and cranny of my body. And smiled.
For me, it was running. It IS running.
What is it going to be for you?
I have been 'extraordinarily' absent minded lately and it has started to worry me. No, ... no I am not being dramatic. Really. Read and decide for yourself!
The other day I came out of my bedroom, and was startled to find a stranger in the living room. I am thinking, "I didn't open the door, so how did this person get inside our house?" As it figures out, it my just my husband, who had knocked, but since I didn't hear it (as I was lost in thoughts), decided to use his key and enter. Then again yesterday, I was craving pizza so I went to pick it up, and when I returned home, husband opened the door. I was surprised. I asked him, "Where's your car?" He replied, "It is parked right next to yours!". And it was, I just hadn't noticed it as I was lost in my thoughts, again! Now this never happens to me. I am always alert. Always aware of my surroundings. I am the person, who notices the billboard on every nook and turn and remembers the street she had crossed even it was tiny alley. So this is a matter of worry for me. I think I need a holiday. I need rest. Right? What do y'all think?
Blouse - via Macy's [07']
Pants - via Saks [11']
Shoes - Shellys [London, 08']
Bangle - Gift from Mom [11']
Star Necklace - c/o by boe [12']
Nothing makes my heart flutter more than browsing the net for handbags. My love for shoes has been well documented on the blog, but my love for bags yet needs to be proclaimed. Because its not just love, its an adventure! Once I have found a bag that I like, my hands start trembling, heart starts beating faster, I get sleepless nights, and cannot stop staring at the screen, until I own it. It is truly a
Now I am not a clutch kinda girl. I do have a few for night-outs and parties. But I am always secretly wishing to carry my big-ass-bag everywhere, for I carry my world in my bag (Here's the post with - What's in your bag?). So, I have not bought a bag in quite some time now, but I am definitely lusting over a few here. Its a difficult choice, because I do not own any of those colors or the styles. What do you think?
Which one would you pick?
People often commend my dedication to blogging. I can see why they would say that, but personally I have continued blogging over the years purely because I enjoy it. It does not seem like an effort. And when it does, I quite easily take a break and come back when I am up to it again. However, the most important reason I think I continue to blog is that I cherish this as my personal space. A place which I, have created all on my own merit and feel free to share and express anything and everything I like.
I have essentially two personalities, one which maintains a poker face and doesn't share any thoughts or opinions with anyone (and comes across as arrogant!) and the other which is extremely passionate and expressive (which overwhelms the person who is listening to me, making them either get defensive or condescending). Blogging seem to help me over come the later. I continue to maintain a poker face in person and get overtly expressive in my posts. And since everyone who is reading cannot get defensive or condescending, because quite simply I am not there next to them. And what they say or think about me in their own time is none-of-my-business!
Moving on to the outfit, I was feeling
a little a lot sparkly yesterday so decided to go all out. Husband, "Isn't this a little too bright for the daytime?" Me, "Nope. Its just right!"
Top - Michael Kors [11']
Skirt - Gift [03']
Shoes - Dolce Vita [10']
Cross-body Clutch - Kunst via Crazy & Co. [12']
Earrings - c/o IN PINK [12']
Pendant - Crazy & Co. [12']
Bangles - Crazy & Co. [12']
Pants - Sale Purchase for $16 
Jeans - Full Price $69.00 
Shorts - Sale Purchase for $25.00 
Pants - Sale Purchase for $16.00 
Shorts - Sale Purchase for $17.00 
Up until 2009 I had only shopped at GAP once. I had purchased this jacket in 2005 and that was about it. However, today I LOVE GAP. I shop most of my basics (e.g. tee, sleepwear, etc.) and all my bottoms (e.g. shorts, pants, etc.). Of course two reasons for that are the fit & the price. It is rare that I would enter their store and not like something. Also you can say that I am a tad bit lucky to find stuff in my size on the SALE racks.
My tips on how to find deals at GAP:
- Follow them on Twitter @GAP - They often broadcast about the sales and deals.
- Check them out during the non-sale period - Chances are you will end up finding better deals during the weekdays and other non-popular weekends, than you would around the Long weekends or Holiday Season.
- Search for online codes - If you are an online shopper, you have more options, with shopping codes, e.g. Active GAP Coupon 2012
- Try it on - Often the sizes vary, so always try a size up and/or down to make sure you are not letting go of a good deal just because you were lazy to try it on.
- Alterations - We all know alterations are quite steeply priced in this part of the world. However, it would be smart to consider them, if you find an investment piece on SALE, which can be easily altered/fixed.
Do you shop at GAP?
Woah! So we made it to the cinemas on two consecutive Fridays. That in itself deserves a service in praise of the Lord. But the joy didn't last that long as the entertainment this weekend was of sub-standard at most.
We saw the movie "Heroine" last friday, and before even going for the movie, I was eagerly looking forward to reviewing it here on the blog. However, now I would like to call this more of a 'sympathy note to the director' than a movie review. Madhur Bhandarkar got it so terribly wrong. You'd think after all the drama with actresses dropping in-and-out of his movie, he'd at least read his own script twice over. It is not that its a bad movie, because there is no movie. It is more like a random display of events where one scene has absolutely nothing to do with another. He probably sat on Youtube and went through all the possible scandals from the last decade and decided to shoot them to amuse himself.
He displays his 'Heroine' aka Kareena to be bipolar to justify her random bursts of anger and passion. If you ask me, she'd probably have to be octo-polar with the number of personalities she was depicting. I do sympathize with Kareena though. Poor girl, gave it her all. And one can see she tried her best. She was the only thing keeping me in my seat and hoping for Madhur to redeem himself at some point in the movie. Kareena was probably banking of this movie to get her National Award, as most of Madhur's heroines do. Unfortunately, the only way she is receiving a National Award is, if they create a new category called the Best Actress is the Most Senseless Movie. Though, I'd like to mention she was glowing in the movie. With or without photoshop, I'd never know, but she looked stunning.
Alas! Aishwarya Rai, definitely has the last laugh here!
Blazer - Calvin Klein [10']
Dress - ASOS [12']
Shoes - JustFAB [12']
Cuff - Won via Giveaway at SSW [12']
This is another one of my SALE purchases from GAP (The Great!) and its two sizes big aka Large. But that never stops me from picking up pieces I like. Fit is extremely important, but if you like the slouchy fit and have broad shoulders, like me, then you can work the bigger sizes to your advantage. However, if you are petite and have narrow shoulders, unfortunately you would have to stick to your own size as the top/blouse would droop on your body. Sorry!
Just the other day, I came across this outfit of yours and the moment I saw it, I was like, 'Oh wow! That's EXACTLY how I had worn my denim shirt-dress once! Great minds do think alike!' So here's a picture to prove my point. A pair of hot pink tights sure work against the wash of denim, don't they? Only that I have on a grey necklace instead of a grey scarf, and green gladiators instead of yellow flats. But the essence of the outfits is so similar, no? I always knew we had a connection, even across the seven seas! :))
What a pleasant coincidence. I like. Well, great minds do think alike, indeed. But I think you are stealing the show here, with your beautiful smile. Thank you for sending me this photo girl. For everyone who doesn't know Anupriya, she is a multi-talented-super-sweet girl. I still remember when she had emailed me 2 years back with this crown. I was touched by her random act of kindness and now I am blown away by her talent!
For those who are new here: This is a segment where my readers get to share their style or ask for suggestions (if they need any!) from all my readers. So if you have been inspired by my blog then Email me your outfit pictures for this feature. If anyone wishes to stay Anonymous just say the word. I post this feature every alternate Friday.
First things first - The winner of the Oasap Giveaway is Olesia Flegka.
Jumpsuit - UO [09']
Blazer - UO [12']
Shoes - Flea Market [London 08']
Sunglasses - Tom Ford [09']
Rings - Here & There
Pendant - c/o Shop Jami [12']
Earrings - Crazy & Co. [12']
Bracelet - Crazy & Co. [12']
Clutch - Crazy & Co. [12']
If you have been around for a while, then you know that Dr. Fab is kind enough to do a post for the blog once in a while to help me out. Specially when I am swamped with work or when I lack inspiration to write about something. Now, while I would love for him to fill in more frequently, but once a year a just fine with me. If marriage has taught me something, then it is to not try my luck one too many times. I am sure married women know what I am talking about :) In this particular post, he tells how science can be used in social situations. He is a scientist, hence he knows what he is talking about here. Trust me! ;)
How to use science to get out of tricky situations -
Love - Oxytocin is the hormone which is associated with the feeling of ‘love’. Its importance is widely demonstrated in acts of orgasm, maternal behavior, and friendliness towards a person. It is, therefore, commonly referred to as the ‘love hormone’.
How to (mis)use this trivia – If you don’t feel love towards someone anymore and feel like breaking up with them you can actually say, “Sorry it’s not you, it’s me. There’s something wrong with my oxytocin secretion when I am around you, nowadays”.
Longevity - There is some belief in the scientific community that we all have a certain number of total heart beats at our disposal. For example, mice have a faster heart rate but a shorter life span. In comparison, humans and elephants have a slower heart rate but a longer life span. Hence, one way to longevity would be to slow down the resting heart rate. Anxiety and stress can increase the resting heart rate, whereas, meditation and sleep slows it down. This might be a reason why Budhist monks or Ancient Sadhus had a very long life span.
How to (mis)use this trivia – If your mom complains about you being too lazy and sleeping all day, just tell her that you are working on your resting heart rate.
Memories - Prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that is associated with making short term memories. It is located right behind the forehead. Short term memory loss as seen in the popular movies Memento/Ghazini was a result of an injury to this part of the brain. [BTW, I highly recommend Memento if you have not seen it yet.]
How to (mis)use this trivia –Before getting into a fight, set basic rules of not hitting each other’s forehead as later on you might not remember what you were fighting for. Ladies, this is especially important in situations of Cat fights :P [ I wish no one gets into a fight. But if you do, most important thing is to ask someone to make a video and post it on YouTube :D]
The Husband Series (III) - Favorite TV Shows