Posted in Experiences, Experiments, Food, Health and fitness, Learnings

Lost and Gained

In the context of weight loss, I have lost, gained, lost again, gained again… you see the pattern right. Basically, I have not been able to sustain my efforts or maintain my weight. I was not following any fad diets, I lost weight the healthy way. But needless to say, they were not sustainable. Sadly, for the past two years, I simply have not been able to do what it takes. May be as I age, the reserve of determination is getting depleted. May be the body metabolism changes with every weight loss, and my body is demanding more than what I can provide. Today, I heard the Life Kit podcast and had some big takeaways.

  • Our body has a natural tendency to fight weight loss, which is why it is hard to maintain weight loss.
  • I knew what we eat matters more than how much we exercise for weight loss but what I didn’t realize was exercise helps with maintaining the weight you have lost. So for weight loss, eat right. For weight maintenance, exercise right.
  • Given that, there is no point in aiming for weight loss. Instead, take the high road, focus on making behavioral changes, lifestyle changes, changes that you enjoy because the chances are if you don’t believe in or enjoy what you are doing, you are not going to be able to embrace it in the long term.

The grand conclusion is weight loss should afterall not be the goal. Accept your body for what it is, do what works in the long term; you may not end up being slim and trim but you will be healthy and happy. Something to ponder about. 

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Posted in Experiences, Gratitude, Intentions, Introspection, Life, Loss, People, Work life balance

Worplace Gratitude

Overcome with emotions, I have choked up more than a couple of times in the past couple of months due to work related changes. First my boss was let go, the team I was part of disintegrated. Then I found a home, a sweet and cosy one, where I was welcome with open arms, and found myself surrounded in an atmosphere of trust, growth, and development. Just as I saw the pieces of the puzzle fitting together, my new team got split last week. I am in a new team with a new mission under a new boss.

Change is the only constant. It is inevitable, hard, and disruptive. I remind myself that it is also an opportunity to explore how I can rise up to the challenge, and solve new problems. The first time I had a big change at work several years back, I remember my former boss telling me, “Sometimes what seems like the worst thing in the moment, may turnout to be the best turning point in your life,” that’s something that has stayed with me. It was true, with that change I went on to learn new things, meet some inspiring leaders and team members, who have shaped my work ethics and enhanced the breadth and depth of my knowledge base. I have been fortunate to have been under managers who have championed for me, nurtured me, and have had my back. No wonder, I choked and grieved. The changes felt like a loss. Loss of a leader, mentor and friends.

I am not the kind that proactively seeks out change. I get cosy and comfortable in the status quo. So all these ups and downs at work, is life’s way of making me exercise my resilience muscle. I am reminded of the saying, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but today I close my eyes, and hold all the folks at work who have moulded, supported, and inspired me, and offer my sincerest gratitude for their trust and confidence in me. I wish them well in their endeavors.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Giving up and adding in for a month

This week’s episode in Happier podcast was about giving up something and adding something in for a month. It is a little experiment you do with yourself to see what works, and what doesn’t from habit building perspective. There is more to it but I will save that for another post. For the month of May, I want to give up eating anything after 8 PM. I want to add in flossing and brushing for two full minutes twice a day.  I struggle with these foundational habits. So wish me luck!

Posted in Introspection, Little Moments, Me, Uncategorized

The blues

I was puttering around the kitchen, our morning routine at its peak. Hot water with elachi, ginger, and mint simmering on one burner for our morning tea, another set of boiling water with salt and olive oil getting ready for pasta, the third burner with the dosai that was turning crispy, the chopping of veggies for the dinner happening simultaneously, the usual morning juggling act in motion. However, a cloud of doom was hanging over my head. I knew that all it needed was a small prick and the cloud would burst open with a torrential rain of words.

Da came down, and posed his standard question – did you sleep well? I did but I am kind of feeling down, I replied curtly. Then came the first born – “Good moring ma, how are you doing with the post birthday blues ma?” he asked me teasingly. And that cracked me up unexpectedly in a good way. I knew I was feeling down but I was not labeling it right. I was feeling the blues, blues of all shades and hues – the monthly hormonal imbalance blues, the post birthday blues, the monday morning blues, you name it and I was feeling it. And what was great about labeling it? If you name it, if you identity it, it has less power over you. By calling it blues, it freed me from the other emotions (PMS inflicted inadequacies, the pangs from know that a year has passed by, the urge to be productive and in high power mode during the work week etc.) that imprisoned me. More importantly, a tone of empathy when Hari said, feeling the blues? It was not something that only I went through. It is normal. It is acceptable. And you accept the blues for what they are – passing clouds, nothing more. I just need to let them drift away. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Real yet so surreal

I recall my first ever appointment with my PCP in the US. As someone who has gone only for sick appointments back home, the concept of wellness appointment was amusing. The doctor had said I would have to get my pap smear done but that I still had many years for my first mammogram. I vividly remember that moment. Squirming and dreading about the pap smear, I had no idea what a mammogram was and had no curiosity to know more about it. It was something to think about sometime in the distant future. It was something older people went through. Fastforward 18 years, I was sitting in the waiting room, with only a hospital top to lend me dignity, feeling vulnerable in front of a stranger. The future that felt so distant, was right there. The risk that I thought I was immune to felt so real as the machine pressed against me. The experience was so real yet surreal.

Posted in Experiences, Family, Gratitude, Little Moments, Ram Leela

Primal

With a throbbing headache and incessant coughing, the child woke up feeling miserable. “Amma, take my temperature. I know I have a fever.” I placed my hand on his forehead and then his neck, and knew that he did not have a temperature. “You are feeling feverish kanna, but you don’t have a fever,” I tried to convince Ram.

We did the usual things that we do when we have a coughing child at home – two pillows stacked on top of each other, the third one resting on the two so the child can sleep in elevated position, and a mug and a bottle of water next to his bed for possible throwing up scenario. “Amma, can you sleep next to me?” the child asked. Of course, anything to make you feel better, I responded and settled down on his twin bed.

The child while still coughing, relaxed a bit.  His head resting on my chest, as I wrapped my hand against his body. My belly rising and falling, his hand rising and falling with it. His breathing in synch with mine, we slipped into a rhythm, and the child drifted off to sleep. This is what primal feels like.

Posted in Uncategorized

If not us, then who?

Gold star to parent-led green team in our elementary school for their initiatives during the week of Earth Day. This is a team of very passionate, non-judgmental individuals who promote environmental awareness in ways that can be easily weaved into our everyday lives. Earth day was on April 22nd and for the entire week, they had organized initiatives around the theme – marker mondays, textile tuesday, walk to school wednesdays, throwback plastic thursdays, and reusable container fridays. I loved how this effort gently nudged us to think about ways in which we can make a difference. 

When it comes to the environment, what we do as individuals matter. What we think as small drops, collectively make up the ocean. While I will not dare to use menstrual cups , am wasteful in many ways, and I am not an environmental activitist by any stretch of imagination, over the years I have taken small steps like minimizing plastic in kitchen, taking bags for shopping, encouraging kids to not use straws when they can be avoided, and recycling and upcycling wherever possible, to be gentler on earth. 

I feel like if there is someone who can do this, it is us children raised in lower and middle class families in the 80s in India – haven’t we all seen our pattis haggling for manjai pai in Thangamaligai and Kumaran? Been trained from very young to eat in vazhai elai? have dreaded the leftover sambar and rasam that evolve into something that cannot be named but must be eaten? have grown either experiencing or witnessing water scarcity? Have seen a gazillion ways in which a veshti can be recycled and upcycled?  

We know what to do and how to do, although the why to do it may have changed. If not us, then who?