The aroma of food wafting right under my nose and the knowledge that the food is waiting….to be devoured. My name’s written on it. It’s my right. My soul food. On vacation, the pure bliss of doing nothing. By the beach playing scrabble with a book I’ve been dying to read. In the distance I can hear my Y chromosome wrestling with the kids. We have a simple rule. We never buy a ticket for our routine on holiday, it parties by itself at home. Works for all of us.
10 days later as much as we would have liked to bring the holiday routine home with us, we have no choice. We wake up to our days of bustle, chart meetings, ferry kids, fight, make up and at night reminisce over the holiday photos being uploaded on social media. In the quiet of the moonlight I think of the amount of food my body has consumed. While I was holidaying my body was on overdrive burning (what it could) and storing (what it couldn’t burn) all the excess!! And unconsciously my hand reaches out to those extra bulges that have made home in my tummy, happy, satisfied, sated. My friend always says “Holiday food has no calories”, sadly she’s mistaken!! Sigh………………….so who has a similar story? Read on…………..
So when the going gets tough, kick it on the butt and move on buddy!! Exactly! Ask the best nutritionist in the world :)) what to do and this is what she will say.
- You are overloaded, time to download. Cut all your portions down by a quarter for the next 1-2 weeks.
- Bring down the weighing scale from the attic, rub off the dust so that your eyes don’t have to squint to see your early morning empty stomach weight zooming down. Keep this check going until your back to your pre-holiday weight. This daily activity will keep you conscious.
- Stay off carbohydrates at night for the next two weeks. Non-vegetarians can put that smile back on their face with lean meat/fish/egg servings while vegetarians can choose between dal chillas/dry or gravy legumes/tofu/panir. Keep the hunger at bay with fresh salads and soups.
- 3 times a day, have a refreshing portion of parsley & fennel tea by steeping 1/2 tsp dry parsley and 1/2 tsp fennel seeds in a hot cup of water for a minute. Strain and enjoy!!
- 2 vegetable juices a day, can be made of any veggies (when I say veggies I mean the literal meaning in the dictionary, you do not want to mistake it for fruit!) – green leaves, carrots, beet, bottle gourd and if your palette is inhuman, even karela!
- Walk early morning with periodic 2 minute bouts of a jog/sprint on an empty stomach for 30 minutes. A 30 minute exercise span must have 2 sets of the sprint/jog. No conditions attached, if 10 minutes is all you have, so be it. Just make sure it happens, 10 minutes/30 minutes/1 hour, anything is better than nothing.
- Binge once midweek, as much as you want of whatever you want. This is quintessential. If such essentials don’t exist the zest in life won’t either!
And when your scales start making you happy, write in to us with your comments and queries!
Lifestyle is your way of life. You live it. You don it every single day. And if you have to change it, it’s like stripping off the skin you’ve worn for years. It’s painful.
So no one can say it’s easy. Easy is what I’m penning down here. Crediting change to yourself is just as difficult. Commit to changing your lifestyle accepting that you need to better your health & life, realizing that no one but you can make that change and focusing on the consequences of this change when it happens. There can be no greater incentive than visualizing the changes yet to come. And no greater reflection of positivity.
Steps to make sure you succeed in changing your lifestyle for the better
- Be prepared for the fall: You will fail, temporarily. Be prepared for it, just don’t wait for it. You wear a lifestyle for years and when you decide to change, expect to learn on the job. And with every fall there will be a new lesson learnt. With every lesson you learn pin up the sheets and make your footnotes to success.
- Close the exit window: “Try” is a no risk word. It doesn’t allow you to commit. And if you want to win this challenge you cannot just “try”, you “must”. Close your mind’s eye to that exit window. Once you’ve made the decision to better your lifestyle, there must be no looking back. Turn in the key and throw it away. Because outside that window rests exactly what made you take this decision in the first place.
- Pray, your routine: It’s not just about the food, it’s also about your food timings, the food gaps, your sleep, your stress, your water intake and your quantities. It may seem overwhelming. But just like the ocean waves that topple over each other seemingly without rhythm or rhyme but finally ripple to the waiting shore in complete harmony in a tickling foam of white, must your habits seamlessly orchestrate your routine to give you the lifestyle your health deserves. It’s your routine that will invent the change. Just like not drinking water maybe a habit, drinking water must become one. Keep a water alarm, arrange bottles of water in your work space, spike your water with lemon and mint if you like flavor , do what it takes to drink 10-15 glasses of water daily. Start with one element and pick up the others on the way, if you don’t sleep enough start with sleeping half hour early, if you are used to skipping meals, start with never skipping lunch. It’s all about your routine.
- Believe: Believe in the change you want. Think and reminisce over why you believe change in your lifestyle is essential. Focus on these everyday. Meditate for 5 minutes in your day, in quiet, simply taking in your goal in your mind’s eye. Think over your falls of yesterday and determine not to repeat them today. Want the change so bad that it becomes a desire you just have to. Here obstinacy may prove to be a great tool!
- Stay prepared: If healthy food hasn’t been a frequent visitor in your home in the past, you would need to make an extra effort to ensure you are well stocked with it. When hunger calls even the most resolute minds can crumble on the feet of the most scrumptious, oil laden, sugar laced food. But if healthy food is available just when you are starting to get hungry even the most fickle minded can make a healthy choice. So let stocks do us last!! Stock healthy food in your kitchen, in your office drawer, in your bag, in your car ranging from fruits to nuts to cheese to yoghurt to dry fruits to wheat crackers to soups to milk to stubs of corn to cherry tomatoes to an endless list! The magic word is “to stock” and the event will be an unbendable “you”.
- Exercise daily: Just don’t set a time requirement. You must exercise daily. Period. On busy days, even a 10 minute walk is enough, on days when time is leisure you will have an hour to sweat! Do not feed conditions into your exercise routine. Like the kind (if you’ve missed yoga, go for a walk, if you’ve missed Zumba, bring the music on and dance at home!), the time (you woke up late, so what jog at 6pm instead of 6am!), the space (the gym’s closed today, not the park though) and the time limit (an hour maybe better than half but a half hour is better than nothing!). Pat yourself on the back if you’ve packed in some kind of exercise 6 days in the week.
- A partner in crime: or in something better serves a purpose. Sharing common goals with a friend or a partner could make your journey inspiring and a tad easier. The pitfalls are easier to ride over, the exercises are more regular, the hard days are less hard and binge days are fewer when you have a friend in tow! It’s comfort, it’s grass beneath your feet.
No one can say it is easy. But no one can say it’s impossible either. It’s change. And change is always a challenge. Be prepared to take on that challenge and know in your heart that you are going to win. It’s a 100% chance, you are competing with no one else. So victory can’t evade you unless you step aside and change your path!