30 June 2011

It's going somewhere - hurrah!

The calorie-burning program has been initiated. They say it typically takes 2 - 3 weeks to know if you are going to stick to a program; but I am on outlier. Well, I am also an optimist. I didn't realize what a disciplined chimp I was till the day of the my first Marathon in DC. The entire gang that trained with AfE New York was bundled in with million other runners in the train to the starting point and a discussion began about how often one missed training runs. Our training was over a 6 month period and as the rest spoke, I realized that I did not miss a single run. I certainly delayed some runs, especially the Sunday 3 miler; but got it out of the way. To give credit to my running mates, their miss-rate was not high either: they could count the missing runs on their fingertips. My point: I have a bit of history sticking to routine.

The gym is quite nice. Filled with babes, mostly determined to lose weight. The weight loss chicks have cards with their details filled out and a measure of accomplishments. I wonder if the gym will publish statistics of how successfully they can motivate people? Anyhow, as I left last night, I noticed they had a message board out in the front in which someone in neat handwriting had proclaimed that pistachios, among other benefits, helps to keep integrity of the membrane. Got me thinking... the things I know that destroy integrity of membranes are detergents: octyl glucoside, SDS or pore-forming toxins. I am not familiar with any agent that helps the integrity - maybe in constituent parts - surely, cholesterol is most important. Academic rigour might not be a strong suit of the gym.

I have a trainer BTW. S is interesting; she flits from "Madam" to "Madam". My efforts to get her to just say my first name are in vain. She still has not understood my motivation and therefore, we are working on getting a routine. The happy news is - running is back on track.

I would inform on the change in stats of body parts; only, I don't have a measuring tape. So once that is procured, I can get a little more quantitative with my progress. Empirically though, it's working: I can solve an average of 1 clue on The Hindu's cryptic on non-exercise days and it jumps to 4 on exercise-days. Happy Days!

25 June 2011

The next run

It was better than the first in that - I could do more running than walking and I therefore, took lesser time. But, it was still unpleasant. I have now convinced my soft चन्दन-सा बदन that it is the heat. Admittedly, it was cooler on this run because I left Office later (6pm vs 5pm), however, my ears got really hot like last time and I found myself panting more because I was thirsty than out of breath.

So, in order not to let this become a losing battle I did something I never thought I would do - signed up at a gym. They call it Pink, some sort of chain, and a sassy young thing walked me through the gym this morning recommending with a beaming smile that I don't need a weight loss package; just a general fitness package would do. If only she knew of my paunch anxieties. I was planning to go back in the afternoon, but I was too happy with my efforts on securing a gas connection with HP gas (this story only when there is a ending) to drive back to the gym.

Now the cryptic crossword awaits.

22 June 2011


Well, Day 2 can hardly qualify as progress.

As I was popping a mysore pak in my mouth yesterday, I was re-contemplating the whole fat situation. Like, is my fat transient or permanent? As the ghee from the mysore pak melted, I wondered if the fat that I am going to lose (crossing fingers here) is actually going to go away? or is it going to get converted into something else? or is simply going to get smaller.

I got analytical about this. From what I know, fat is stored mainly in adipose tissue and these are distributed according to sex. Women store them in the buttocks (check), thighs (check) and hips (check). At this point I wanted to learn more so I went wiki. Now this fascinating page gives you lots of information on fat and from it I have concluded that belly fat is visceral fat and it might be an indicator of cardiovascular disease. I have always believed that I will die of a heart attack - my body it seems, is working to put this together.

The mysore pak was too sweet suddenly. Anyway, I didn't dwell on this information too long because later in the afternoon, to make up for all the stress of learning about fat, I ate a puff. Now, before you shake your head and tut-tut me reader, I also went for a run yesterday.

KBR park is a hop, skip away from Office so at 5pm I donned the garb and went for a run. I ended up walking for much of the time though, because my body and I differed significantly in spirit. The weird part is: the whole time I was out, all I could think of was the physical exersion. Have to get into the zone; that's what will enable me to forget about the pain and panting. The whole circuit was about 3.5 miles.

Tomorrow is a re-run.

20 June 2011

Growing up and out

About two weeks apart, two different women have asked If I was pregnant. Well, not as bluntly as that. They did try to be cautious - "Is it good news?" and "So, are you planning a baby?" Now, as it happens. No. I am not pregnant. But what I do have is an unflattering paunch.

I was having myself measured at the Tailors' today, watching him scribbling in tiny letters my dimensions so as to remind himself of the pattern and the bulges. And at this point I was forced to confront the situation that I has been weighing on me for a while.

Some uncomfortable truths:
  • My waistline which was a petite 26 has climbed to 29.
  • My hips have grown from their heydays of being 35 to 37.5.
  • My weight has gone up from 50 to 55kgs
The pounds have not rushed in but merely sauntered, found places with a view and settled comfortably in my tissue. I used to think the fats were renting; turns out they purchased the entire condo and the parking lot. Most women struggle with weight. My battles are limited: From ages 0 to 15 I was chubby; then something happened (romantics would call it a blossoming; realists would call it hormones) and I lost the flab. The paunch though, remained. It was just less visible. That status quo remained till I was 29 when I started my job in India.

What changed? Well, I went from sitting only for lunch and tea to sitting forever. The current job has all the trappings of a luxury life - two computer screens, a housekeeper who makes coffee better than the italians and an office where meals are an all-you-can-eat buffet, everyday. I tried to interject some exercise, but the lazy genes got activated and before I could say "freeze" I had ballooned.

Do I want to change? Well, having grown up being a chubby tubby for some junior years, the fatness per se doesn't bother; what annoys is the places in which it is sequestered. The real estate map of my body is all wrong. Why dont' fat like ankles? Consequently, I bulge in awkward places. N was very sweet about this body image issue - he says I should just wear loose clothes so no one can tell how many tyre manufacturers I have hidden away on my abdomen. I still haven't answered the question, right? Well, yes I do. Not in the size-zero way though. Because, most importantly, I can't diet.
Just thinking about dieting makes me hungry. I get cranky and like a young child with cooties when I am hungry. This foray would not work for me professionally. Imagine starving and PMS-ing together? Cataclysmic. Not so much for me, but for all those brave people who work with me.

Right, so something has to give. Exercise. N got us a stationery bike which I used to ride for a bit after new years (make the connection?) but I got bored of sitting again. Walking and running are alternatives but the heat did it in for me. Now though, the monsoons are in, so I suppose that's not an excuse. Well, I want to lose some flab. But I am determined not to do two things:

a) weigh myself

b) diet

(a) is a potential issue because it would not be so easy to tell if the weight loss program is working. But I think what I am going to do instead is measure the waist line and hip. (b) is a no-brainer. For world peace, I have to make this sacrifice. So in the coming weeks, I am going to use you, dear blog, to map out my progress. To the exercise bike, and beyond.

19 June 2011

tereBin - taking responsibility for our litter!

I got the nicest email from theuglyindian a few days ago. Own a dustbin on MG Road- Brigade Road and thereabouts. The rates were - 1000 (for purchase and maintenance for 100 days); 1500 (for purchase and maintenance for 1 year). The bins are a sight - painted in white, green and blue, designed by a creative soul. I wish I had a picture of the bin to post; but anyhow, if you wanted to watch the bins in action catch them on youtube.

This is a group that relies on action, not speak and I am so glad that we such initiatives. It's one reason why I am considering joining facebook!