Wednesday, July 28, 2010

fitness quest update

A few posts ago, i blogged about how K and I are going to the gym these days. We slacked off for a whole week but are back on track now. By slacking off i do not mean bingeing as well. Cos that would be like suicide. (except one friend's mom who is a fab cook is in town and we got invited to dinner...traditional indian food is very carb rich and the food was great and it would have been rude to not eat appreciatively, so i think i downed a lot of calories that night) its pretty tough to overeat or eat stuff that's positively fattening once you know how long you will have to be on the damned treadmill to pay for that! 

with all of this, i think the weighing scale hates me, cos i cant see much of a change there....but i can tell that my face is losing flab, little by little. and of course i famously declared that i am wearing one size smaller clothes... so that's incentive enough!

so from a measely beginning of 10 minutes on the treadmill with a speed level of 4, i can now do a full hour at speeds between 6-7. which is pretty good... but am soon tired of the walk to go nowhere routine and cant watch tv minus the volume and so i have taken to browsing through a magazine...the pictures is all that i am interested in anyways in a film periodical. i find that it takes my mind away from the ticking (very slowly) timer and the calorie counter. K does the elliptical cross trainer. he is on it for an hour and kept telling me to read up and that it burns more calories per minute compared to the treadmill. 

the elliptical is a strangely scary machine. for one, climbing onto it is like getting on to a ledge of an awkward height. and the handle bars make me feel like i am going to keel over and fall. also its all about rhythm and timing. if you dont get that right, it can be a very awkward stance...i know since i watch the ones who use it. K is a little over 6 ft tall, i am a foot shorter, so the logistics just scared me....

Since the last few days, i have begun to exercise on the elliptical. i was right about the rhythm and timing thing. It is essential to work out on this. i began with a very laborious 10 mins at a resistence of 2. then i realised that a resistence of 6 or 7 (may differ from person to person) makes it easier to get the timing right. on the elliptical it isnt about how fast you can go anyway. it definitely helps burn more calories. i find that i am burning 50% more than the treadmill in the same amount of time. today i did 30 mins. Here too the trick is to visually divert your attention away from the ticking timer and calorie counter. the machines in my gym have a narrow niche to hold a newspaper or a mag and i am making full use of it. Today was all about the most powerful people in bollywood. i am ready for my pop quiz now!

K keeps telling me he is very bored of the gym...the close confines, the stale air (no matter how much room freshner is sprayed) and the boredom that eventually sets in once you are in a routine. So he's signed up for badminton with a guy friend in addition to the gym. 3 times a week for an hour. there's a world class badminton court near home and he's going there. I am not a very sporty person, so will stick to the gym till i can possibly start swimming or something. i need to find a good pool closer home.

Some sharing and encouragement for all those wanting to hit the gym or begin any kind of exercise.

the first 3-4 days are the toughest. but you will get over it and you will begin to like it once you can see the progress. i am actually more motivated than ever and if i can be a convert, anyone can! i was scared to lower myself onto the pot for the first 3 days. once i sat, i didnt want to get up. a hot shower helps, as does good sleep and moderate speeds and time spent working out.

wear comfortable shoes and clothes. i see women in cotton churidar pants which are uncomfortable to even sit cross legged in. the knitted ones are better, if you dont want to wear track pants. find the most comfortable way to lace your shoes, allow room for the toes, tighter around the middle and not very tight where you lace them up. wrong lacing up can leave you feeling very uncomfortable and give you sprains and injuries. 

for a woman - wear a sports bra. its important even if you arent very busty. not only is it unhealthy for you to not wear a proper supportive one, but its embarrassing to see women bouncing around when they are exercising. Remember that your breast tissues are one of the most delicate, you will be losing weight (will affect the size of your boobs very soon) and hence they need all the support you can give. Puma has good ones, so does reebok. get a proper fitting one and do yourself a favour.

body odour alert. Everyone will sweat in the gym, just ensure you dont add to the stink. use deodorant liberally. there are products available for sport or active lifestyle...these are a good choice. if you can manage, bathe both before and after. i go to the gym in the morning and find that showering the previous night, before bedtime helps keep me fresh. i was on the treadmill today next to a guy who was stinking from a mile. i had to get off and use another machine at the farthest end from him. he also gave me an awful headache. 

dont be intimidated by all the hunks and babes that come to the gym...if its taken you a few years to put on weight, give yourself atleast a few months to see it go.

respect your body and so do not over exercise. start with a pace and time that suits you. do not aim to do as much as a guy who has been working out for months or years. start small, but your aim each day should be to progress a little more than the previous day. be firm when the over enthu coach or fitness instructor tells you to do more if you are tired. rest when you are tired and out of breath and sip water slowly. 

watch what you are eating. once you begin to count everything in terms of time spent chained to the treadmill, you will soon realise how much to eat for need and how much for greed!

ok, i think this post has turned out longer than i wanted it to be. so long then.

Monday, July 26, 2010

pathetic state of roads in hyderabad

its been a wet wet weekend....the slush outside the apartment has reached mamoth proportions and the state of the roads in Hyderabad is really to be seen to be believed. the apathy and the sheer callousness of an administration that simply doesnt give a damn for the people is something that left me with a mouth wide open in shock. i cant think of a single road today that is devoid of a ditch with tar and rubble coming out of it due to the substandard quality of the roadwork to begin with. last evening, we drove from kondapur to begumpet, no more than 500 metres, that too on the erstwhile CM's camp office stretch was the only patch that was smooth and ditch free. Even the flyover in front of nagarjuna hills, which takes you over the punjagutta crossroads (the same one that collapsed and killed a few people a couple of years earlier) is full of portholes. Can you imagine ditches on a flyover?

While the state administration and the Municipal Commissioner are busy attending page 3 parties, the whole network of roads in hyderabad is rapidly beginning to resemble the craters of the moon. Only in this case, we dont admire its beauty from afar. At certain points, like behind shopper's stop in begumpet, when you drive, you wonder if it is supposed to be a city road, or some cross country ditch rally. 

imagine if this is the state of affairs in the cities, in the hitech part of the state, what is the state of affairs in the towns and villages, the people who actually vote and elect these people. I cant help but think of the kind of civic upkeep that happened during chandra babu naidu's time. it was very common for out of state visitors to immediately remark about the fabulous roads we had. that was the first impression people got of this place....i couldnt help thinking how callous this congress government is.....i recall a similar state of affairs each time the congress has been in power. naidu on his part, has proved to be one of the most ineffective opposition leaders of all time. 

After the death of ysr, its like things are chugging along in status-quo the roads went from great to good and towards the end of his life, bad...and after he died and the turmoil in the state politics took over, its gone from bad to really was common to see heaps of uncleared rubbish spilling over from bins.....cops being absent where traffic regulation was essential, and only seen challaning people, traffic sense has gone from bad to really unbearable with no fear of the administration or any sense of discipline...and this state of affairs seems to be the last nail in the coffin.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

weekend this and that

first things first...i am loving the weather in hyderabad right now.... everything looks greener and the digging of the road in front of our building not withstanding (since i dont go out too much) its been as beautiful as i imagined it would be. infact i think that i get through the severe summer just imagining what the rains will be like.... i sit here, watching the rain through the french doors on my balcony....fall rapidly and then ease off for a while. the sound it makes as it hits the fibre bottom of my balcony window can sometimes get quite intoxicating....

its been a good week. i have been happy and productive and that is such an i had to cancel my chocolate class because a couple dropped out and tho i offered to teach the one person who was keen on coming one on one, she preferred the company of the others....i feel extremely disappointed  when i have to do that...but that one thing notwithstanding, its been a lovely chilled out day....

on a day like today, i wonder if i need to take on more work so i can actually see the difference between a workday and a weekend... that's a question i havent been able to answer to my own satisfaction yet! its been such a gorgeous week....
comfort food for lunch and a snuggle under the razai....only to wake up a bit and chat with a soon to be easily we fail to acknowledge both the excitement and the anxiousness of a father to be....its not comparable to what the mother to be is going through, but it is there...the hopes and fears and joy of bringing a child into this world.... we looked at baby names...they've fixed on a lovely girl's name.... but just in case, so we looked at boy names... i recall my own brother... he had no where to vent his feelings, his fear and anxiety in the aftermath of the birth of his baby girl....especially with nuclear families and the fathers being present for almost the entire process....earlier they were unaware of what they are so much present...and yet dont know if it is ok to talk about how they are feeling...the burden of being macho!

i will go to the gym in sometime and then a friend will bring his dog over. K and i will be doggy sitting a handsome Labrador for about 10 days next month, while the dog father goes to get married.... we asked our friend to bring him over for smaller periods of time so we can both get used to each other.... i am so excited, i can hardly wait to see how this household looks and functions with a dog. about the gym...i havent had much weight loss, but am already wearing one size smaller clothes...i went to try on some stuff the other day, and the pants i tried were in a size smaller than i am used to wearing... it has been such a fabulous reinforcement of the effort....i caught my reflection in a lift the other day...i can safely say that atleast some bulk around my middle is melting...albeit slowly... but its going...

i am having huge sugar cravings...with this weather, all i'd like is to sink my teeth into a nice muffin or a slice of chocolate cake.... i almost made cinnamon rolls today... i will try and hold out as long as i can....problem is, i feel very guilty to heat up the oven for just a small tiny portion of cake or anything conscience will not allow me to waste electricity like this...maybe i should bake bread or some rolls to have with soup.... lets see....

i think i have rambled on.... how's your weekend going? doing something fun? or lying low and lazy at home? whatever you do.... peace be with you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

one of those random posts

sometimes the silence inside your head makes you imagine a beautiful tune.....mellifluous voices singing a beautiful song and then you realise it isn't what it appears to be.....i woke up this morning with a beautiful dream, still lingering around....a dream where it was a perfect world....all the things i wanted were in it...and yet i was chasing something,......i was chasing my real life... because all i ever wanted was right it....

for the people who are still reading this blog, if this doesn't make much sense...forget it and dont try to analyse....

Ten days ago, i turned a year older. None of the turning a year older dramas happened (thankfully). it was a lovely day. I spent some time with K, did a bit of shopping and yet, the biggest thing on my mind was the workshop i had the next day and the stuff i needed to get done. At best, I'd call it a working birthday. What was remarkable tho, was the number of people who wished me. Calls never stopped till past 11 p.m and there were more than 200 wishes for me on fb. I was overwhelmed to say the least. i am not one for big celebrations. almost always, birthdays at home meant quiet dinners with extended family. Plus, now it means i get to do all the work....plan, invite, cook and the piece de resistance - CLEAN UP. i can easily give it a pass up and prefer to do a quiet lunch or dinner.... 

this birthday a far cry from the one i had last year... nursing a sore body after trekking into the Valley of Flowers.... birthdays have been so much a representation of my life... some remembered, some not....some large scale some quiet and close....when i look back, i cant remember birthday's other than 2-3...and just one from when i was less than 10... i remember the first b'day in the current house tho... cos it was the first multi group party we had...that full year we had parties one after the other...till K told me he didn't enjoy 'people' gifts and he'd much rather have 'thing' gifts! so out went the parties and for a few years, in came the gifts... now its back to nothing!

Its been a tranquil year tho.... demons rising up now and then, but on the whole, its been good. workwise things are status quo and i guess will remain so till the wind blows strongly some side...the most important change this year has been K and me focussing on health and finally joining a gym. after many attempts at yoga and walking and all of this ably aided by my imagination, i buckled and joined a gym near the house and that has been the single most significant thing i have done this year.... its a little premature, since its been less than a month, but far from being disgusted at myself, i feel motivated and energized. i have health goals and not weight goals now... 

family time has been more....especially with newest member being added, Rohan my nephew and godson.... i think i fell in love the minute i set eyes on him which was the minute he was born ... i havent been able to see him as often as i want to lately ... but i think there is a quick remedy for that soon.... amma's visits have become far and fewer between owing to her health....but the times spent, especially the last visit has been the most enjoyable one, both for her and me! I've grown closer to a few friends, farther from a  few others and  the inner circle of warmth and comfort is becoming more and more obvious.....i wish we traveled a little more than we are currently tho. to spend time exclusively on non family related travel is something i'd like to see a lot more of this year... all in all, no regrets... just a great life i am thankful for.