Friday, 25 April 2014

Who keeps me healthy?

If you were to ask me who keeps me healthy? the first person that crosses my mind is the person in the photo below:
That’s me just after I graduated university and started my first job.This was not at my highest weight either and I doubt I have shared this photo before, I cringe every-time I look at it (I don’t think I even have a photo of me at my highest weight)
I was always smiling but I was never really happy because I was embarrassed of myself and it was difficult to share this with anybody. Most people knew I always wanted to lose weight but nobody knew how much it bothered me. Everybody thought it was easy, very manageable because most people I was surrounded by where normal...some said I was lazy, some said I did not want it enough but nobody really helped because nobody really knew how to. I even joined an exercise group for a month or so but the instructor was not very nice to me...I was the fattest in the class and she was very good at pointing that out so it was difficult for me to keep going for that class, again friends/family thought I was being lazy nobody realized it was difficult to wake up every morning put on a fake smile when I was being insulted each time I went to class...
I loved dancing but somebody very close to me said I looked like sack of potatoes and I stopped dancing. When I was in university my college friends would travel on motorbikes, I didn’t have one so I was always a pillion rider and my friends joked about how scared they were with me on their bike because they were worried about losing balance (thank god for T). People 20 years older than me compared themselves to me while pointing out they were thinner than me, I took this with a smile each time being a little more disappointed with myself. All those years I had one dream which was to just become normal. Most nights I would go to bed imagining how different my life would be if I was normal. I just wanted to look my age, dress like my friends, shop smarter clothes and for once feel nice about myself.
For very long I did not believe I had a chance of losing weight and becoming normal, by sheer luck my new work team had all health conscious people who ate salads for lunch and I joined them just because I did not want to be the odd one out and without realizing I was doing it I lost my first few kilos...that’s when I knew I could do it and then there was no stopping me. I took one small step at a time. I did it quietly; I did not join the gym (because of my previous exercise class experience). I did not share my plans with anybody because I was scared of failing. I did a lot of reading, a lot of trial and error to understand what worked for me. I changed my food habits, I started including a little bit of exercise. Over time I faced my fears and entered the gym. Every day I work to get over all the negativity that surrounded me when I was overweight.
I workout and eat healthy because I don’t want to go back to who I was, I like myself a lot more now :).
This is me now:

Not only my weight has changed but I have started to believe in myself a lot more. I believe I can be good at anything if I put in the effort. I believe I am worth standing up for myself and my choices. I like being able to run (I never ran as a kid/teenager). I like being able to play around and do a lot of things most people do when they are kids because I missed out on these things just because I felt too fat/unhealthy and embarrassed.
Getting back to the question of who keeps me healthy?
A reminder of who I was and who I want to be keeps me healthy

Who keeps you healthy?As usual I would love to read all about it.

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This post was done as part of the American Recall Center’s “Who Keeps You Healthy” campaign.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Heart Rate Monitor and Me

T bought me a Fitbit in Feb I used it for a bit but then I decided to exchange it for the vivofit with a heart rate monitor because I wanted something that could help me push myself more, another reason I wanted a heart rate monitor was to improve my running speed and I was also pretty excited about seeing how much I burn in my circuit and my RPM classes but the first day with my heart rate left me confused. I barely burn around 300-350 calories in 45 minutes (some people burn 500-600) but my legs always feel crazy tired.
Now the confusion I have is when I go for a run for the same amount of time I burn more and I am less tired. My legs are mostly never tired after a 60 minute run and 45 minutes of RPM I can feel my muscles in pain within the first 5 minutes but I still burn less. Now I have got a new way of challenging myself but this gadget keeps me guessing all the time...this is what I am thinking in my RPM class

Today I am going to keep my heart rate around 160 for all my intervals and rest I am going to not let it go below 125..(class starts: warm up heat rate goes up to 106 then slowly goes up to 120 stays in the 120’s till the first interval then it shoots up to 140) Tanvee push yourself, you can do are still at 140....but my legs push have to get it higher (heart rate goes up to 150..then to 158, interval ends...and my heart rate comes down in a few seconds to 120) Oh no don’t come down my legs are still hurting (next interval starts) common Tanvee 160 this have to do it again I reach 158/160 just in time for the interval to end and my heart rate drops to 120. This cycle goes on for the entire class.

Trust me when I say my legs constantly feel the workout and it’s not easy but somehow my heart rate and  muscles don’t seem to go hand in hand. I am still trying to figure it, actually it’s a challenge. I enter every class with a hope of burning more calories than the previous.
Have you ever used a heart rate monitor? Does it confuse you or am I the only one?

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

One way I handle the fear of being judged

Happy Easter.I hope all of you are having a good day so far :)

If you know me or have been reading this blog one of my biggest issue in life was fear of being judged obviously this has affected my fitness plans and life many times. I am really focusing on this fear in 2014 and I want to move past it. I want to be somebody who doesn't stop midway because I am worried about what people will say I have been consciously going out of my comfort zone one thing that has helped me with this is 
'Believing that people are nice'
It's a simple thing but makes a lot of difference....
Would I ever make fun of somebody who is entering the gym for the first time?
would I ever judge somebody who can't run for too long?
would I ever judge somebody who is trying to adjust in a new place?
The answer to all these questions is No...then why do I assume people would judge me for my running speed? or when I am new to a place? or when I am don't know something...

If I believe people are nice then I believe they will encourage me or support me when I am scared, trying something new or lost because they are all nice they will not judge me...(just knowing this helps me be more comfortable and personally I have been in situations when complete strangers have come forward to help me with adjusting my equipment in the gym..)

I am not saying this is the only way of getting over the fear of being judged but this is one way for me.What do you think?
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Monday, 14 April 2014

How do I maintain a strict diet?

First things first I don’t maintain a strict diet but I choose to make healthy food choices and over time I have started to prefer my healthier options but to most people it does look like I am on strict diet. If you want to lose weight, if you want to get healthy food is a big part of that journey.
Here’s what I do:

Trial and Error
Initially when I started I tried cutting everything out, then I tried one cheat day per week but these things did not work for me. When I stopped all my unhealthy food in one go I would feel uncomfortable and I would end up thinking about food the entire time. Then the one cheat day also did not work because I would eat so much in that one cheat day just because I felt it was my only chance to eat...finally what worked for me was slowly changing my habits. I reduced my portions of unhealthy food, increased healthy options and slowly my portions of unhealthy food have become negligible and trust me when I say I don't miss them.

Find a replacement
I have a sweet tooth. After every meal I always go looking for something sweet to nibble on. There was a time when my meals were healthy but this habit of eating sweet after every meal was increasing my calories. I swapped the unhealthy desserts with frozen yoghurt or frozen fruit this worked for me. Finding a healthy food replacement for your unhealthy option worked well in this scenario for me.
Another bad habit I had was waking up in the middle of the night to nibble on something. Again I changed from nibbling on unhealthy to nibbling on healthy stuff but I was very keen on getting rid of this habit. So I started by making a deal with myself every time I wake up I play a game of solitaire or read 10 pages before I eat something usually that’s enough time for me to doze off that's how I got rid of this bad habit.
So you can either find a healthy food replacement or you can find some other distraction to change your habits.

Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring
Just because I choose to eat healthy does not mean everybody in my family will also make the same choice. There are times when T orders pizza on such days I make my favorite marinated chicken or some other nice food. There is always a healthy option for every meal including desserts so I make it a point to make interesting food for myself that way I don’t feel like I am deprived or eating boring stuff and this also makes it easier to stick to healthy options when you are surrounded by unhealthy options

Always have a plan
It’s really useful to have a plan, try to keep a very detailed plan (including all your main meals and your snacks). I know it takes a little bit of an effort and time but without a plan it’s easier to grab something unhealthy. If I know exactly what I will be eating when I am snacking, if I have packed my snacks I will automatically avoid the crisps and biscuits because I have my snack bag ready. This is simple and a very effective way of avoiding unhealthy food.

I am the queen of small steps
I don’t know how many times I have said this, take small steps. Start by reducing portions or swapping food then move towards cutting out one unhealthy food that you are addicted to and adding one good habit...don’t move to the next step till you have completely OK with this change and then move to the next change I find this way makes it a lot more easier and manageable.

I hope you found these useful :)

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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

How I get back after a break

Most of us have had to take a break. Sometimes because of injuries, sometimes because of health reasons and sometimes because there are other priorities getting back is the key this is what I do to make my coming back on track easier

Don’t wait for the right day to start:
The minute I am feeling better I get back to my workouts. I don’t wait for the next Monday or the next weekend to start my routine. I feel the more you push your workouts away the harder it will be to get back so start as soon as you can

Keep away from Numbers:
If I have been on a break because of injury or because I was ill I give myself the same amount of time I missed my workout to catch up with my measurements. For example I was not on track with my workouts for the past 3 weeks so I will give myself 3 weeks before I check my measurements. I do this only when I know missing my workouts was not an excuse I could have avoided because I don’t want to be frustrated or blame myself for taking a break when I needed to

Jump on the Scale (this for when I have made excuses):
This one is the exact opposite of the above point. If you have been naughty, if you have made excuses and missed your workouts when you could have (like when you are on vacation, you can always fit in a workout but if you have not done that then this point is for you). If I have gone off-track then I want to see how  much harm I have done by making excuses...hopefully this will stop me from making excuses the next time. 

Workouts might be a little tougher:
In the last 3 weeks I did not run outside as usual so when I did go for my run after a break I did find it tougher, my legs did hurt more than usual..again I give myself the same amount of time I missed to get back to my fitness level.

Start slowly:
If you have got back after an injury or illness then it’s good to take it slow, what I do is I see how much I can do and keep pushing myself in my first workout back to decide my level. I make sure I don’t push myself too much because I don’t want to injure myself and go back on break

Always make the best choice you can:
I always try to make the best choice I can in any situation. So if I can’t get out to workout then I will work out at home, if I can’t go for a run I might just go for a long walk. If I can’t workout at all that does not mean I will stop eating healthy that means I will make sure I am eating cleaner than usual.

What do you think? What do you do when you have to take a break?

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Sunday, 6 April 2014

I'm back :)

For the past few weeks ( 3 weeks) I have been going from one health problem to another...first it started with stomach infection after that I was sick with throat infection and finally I had a wisdom tooth extraction which was not as bad as expected but the recovery and medicines were too strong for me..
All this left me with very little energy,I did the best I could with my was on track.
The worst part about being sick for so long was missing my workouts...I think I did 3 days instead of my usual 5 days and I reduced the intensity of my workouts and that frustrated me..most days i was irritated for not being able to do my workouts. Finally yesterday I did my usual workout and surprisingly I managed alright  though today my legs are hurting more than usual but I could keep up that's what I was worried the most about.
What do you do in such situations? Do you also get frustrated about missing your workouts or going off track?
Back to blogging, back to reading and back to replying to your comments (sorry about all this) basically back to normalcy

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