For the last 20 years, I’ve been fighting the battle of the bulge. More often, the bulge wins but it’s time to take control.
They say it takes a great change to make us understand the error of our ways and sometimes, that comes with a painful set of physical side effects.
I’ve always been on the heavier side. Actually, that’s not true. If you see pictures of mine prior to age 15, you’d be stunned to note that I had hardly anything approximating to ‘weight’. Family despaired that I’d ever gain weight. Guess who’s worried now. Yes, life can be ironic and nasty all at once.
My physique is a very strange creature. I’m heavy on the hips, face and the abdominal area but surprisingly, have very thin arms and legs. Now obviously that means I have a lot of weight that isn’t being distributed right.
Never a fan of diets, I took to badminton and noticed that while my stamina improved dramatically, my weight didn’t drop much. Plus, starting rigorous physical activity in my 30’s came with its downside, namely, insufficiently stretched muscles, a weakened lower back and a tendency to binge eat, soon after a workout.
What really helped though, was swimming. I took to the water and found that it was a complete workout and put hardly any strain on my lower back. It was a thrill that energised me, left me wanting more and made me come back every morning at 7 to savour the cold splash that would hit my face.
As long as I maintained my swimming schedule, things were looking up. I still hadn’t gotten rid of that stubborn mid-section but my weight had come down and my hormones were also under control contributing to a calmer me.
After I took to blogging with a passion and started networking with energy, I began to neglect my health. ‘Writing’ meant staying up late, finishing a post, checking for comments, reciprocating visits, bouncing from one social media channel to another until it became all too obvious that something was off.
Prolonged sitting led to snacking and the urge to keep track of social connections kept me from bed. Dark circles grew bigger under my eyes as did the layers of fat on my body. Lower back pain increased while my threshold for overall pain reduced to an alarming low.
About six months ago, I began to notice the pattern and started consciously avoiding certain things: staying up late, using screens in bed and replying to comments and notifications immediately.
I’ve had friends who’ve been trying to get me to exercise but, honestly, you can only lead the person to the gym. You cannot get on the treadmill on their behalf.
And that’s when it struck me: The only person who benefits from my good health is me. If I am healthy, everything else will fall in place.
I’ve not made health a priority before this and I’ve decided it’s time to change. I don’t have an ideal weight or any figure in mind, but I am working towards a fitter me, starting today. That may mean more walks, lesser time online, more swimming, lesser snacking but it also means something far more important.
I’ve got to stop seeing this as a war on ‘fat’ or ‘weight’ and start seeing it as an engagement with health. That’s the key.
Challenges usually work for me, be they blog-related or personal goals, so here’s to setting my next one: a road to a healthier me.
It’s said that the master appears when the student is ready. There are lessons at every corner that we turn and every path that we cross. What matters is if our eyes are open wide enough to see them and learn from them.
I’d love to hear practical, useful ways to keep my weight in check while incorporating a sensible vegetarian diet and routine.
Do share what worked for you in the comments section.