Working it out

I stopped blogging because it was personal, too personal sometimes, and I got into trouble for it. So I stopped. I never wanted to stop writing though, and sometimes words on a page is what I need – to think, to plan, to do.

Where we left off – I was on the cusp of graduating, running a lot, somewhat on the top of the world. Where I am today – I graduated, got a job, moved to the east coast, missed Manhappenin sorely for many moons, got lonely, very lonely, felt like the bottom dropped out on my world a few times, met a boy, fought a long fight to keep him, got the boy (marriage) and the house with the white picket fence. And a raging discontent. The discontent that comes with being comfortable, and the nagging feeling of wanting to be more.

That said this is not a general, my life so average post. What I really wanted to think and talk about is my relationship with my body. Most women have a relationship with their body, and quite often it is complicated. Mine has been very complicated. I was always fat by Indian standards, though when I look back, maybe I was not really that bad. I went on my first diet in high school, I still remember my starting weight, all of 65 kgs, that shocked the people at the gym, who told me it was too much. I lost the 5 kgs, felt awesome for all of that year, and then promptly put it back on again. I now graduated to my highest weight, got to college, and proceeded to live a life of the fat friend – you know, the side-kick, the wise cracking, I love myself even if you don’t defiant person who also never got a single date. Not one, not because guys didn’t try, but because I never saw that they were trying, I was lost in the world of women who told me I was not good enough, not pretty enough, not fun enough, but enough to be a friend you called in the middle of the night, enough to be their side-kick as they cycled through their romances. Funnily enough, during that time I also became a group fitness instructor, again getting told over and over that I wasn’t thin enough. I lost some weight, again, I was happy, I was happy to feel accepted. Then back on it came. Then came the most humiliating time, VLCC – the weight loss center, I wasted my parents’ money, and went only once. The humiliation – I won’t detail it here. BUT they did give me  a calorie handbook, and the true dieting game began. I measured out everything, barely ate any fat, and finally, finally, I lost weight. I felt good again. Now it was time to move back to Indore.

I don’t know what it is about home, I always gain weight, and it happened again, and again, it was like I never lost weight. Back again at my high weight, unhappy, feeling terrible about myself, and watching my mom struggle with saying nothing, and trying to do something about it. The funny thing was that through all this, I was always active, always dancing, teaching group fitness, lifting weights, all of it. Yet I never felt or looked good. I tried one more weight loss center thing, which not as humiliating, however, showed absolutely no results.

Then, it was time to move. I got into my PhD program, moved to the US, and put on some more weight with all the snacks and sugary foods that were a rarity in my life in India. In 2011, I spent the summer at home in India, and lost some weight, came back to school, and determined to continue it. I still remember that date, October 17, 2005 – 2 days after my birthday, I decided, this was it, I was going to lose this weight. At that point – I was still working out a lot – I lived 2 miles from the gym, had no car, so I walked to the gym almost every day. Then I started the whole 1200 calories diet, and I did it! I lost all the weight, I felt good, people were amazed. I went from 175 pounds to 140-ish pounds, and there I stayed, for a long long time – I went between 140-145 pounds.

So, between 2005-2015, the decade that I would like to think of as the golden decade of my weight, I was reasonably happy with myself, I finally allowed myself to dress in anything other than t-shirts and jeans. I even dated a bit. Met my husband, dated him for 5 years, never losening the grip on measuring food, eating food, working out, and weighing myself.

Remember, it was a decade at that point, my weight was up a little, like 145, there was a tiny pooch which I wasnt happy with, so I decided to try low carb. Welp, I lost all of 5 pounds, and gained a flat stomach. 2015 was the year of the wedding, and at the same time, tiring of this ever constant control, whoops, I fell off, and control again cycle, I chanced upon ETP, no clue why it held my attention, but it did and I joined, and promptly gained 10 pounds before my wedding, mostly stress-related. Then, as usual being the determined me, I was like, maybe I don’t understand it so well, I need more help, I joined group coaching, and gained another 20 pounds. If you have managed to read thus far, I commend your perseverance, you sanguine reader may have noted that I have now reached my highest weight, again. The golden decade is over.

Flashback is over, lets talk about today. Today, I don’t know where I stand. I am again uncomfortable in my own skin. I hide from mirrors and cameras. My skin is thicker once again, ignoring the fat shaming glances and the snubs from retail floor workers. I had forgotten what those felt like. I am a bit stronger than I used to be. But, frankly, I am much fatter and much more prone to injury as well. Working with my coach, trying, hoping, to get back to the golden decade. The path is again not clear – do I go back to what I know works? the low calorie, muscle and macros be damned, or continue down this very ambiguous path of eating more, feeling like a fat-clad loser among the ripped denizens of ETP.  All I know right now is that it hurts mentally and emotionally, to be in this place. It’s been an year of ETP and thinking “trust the process”, “do more”, “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”, “don’t snuggle up to bad habits”, and all I see is more and more fat. And if I say something, it is because I am doing something wrong, I must not be moving enough, I must not be following the plan, I must be WRONG. and I feel like I am back again to being 17 and being fat and being WRONG, this time for all the other reasons. Maybe somebody will read this and understand what a mind fuck it is? To be hobbling with knee pain and still working out, and going for long walks, because “ETP works when you do.” Eating as my coach suggests I do, and not losing a single pound for 6 long months. Feeling more and more lost, alone, and unhappy every day with my body, losing my sense of self, then reading articles and understanding, it must be my own damn fault because no one can force someone to put on weight. I don’t blame ETP, I love my coach, I can see she is trying, too, to figure out what makes my body tick. But, I don’t know if I have the mental strength to continue this process. To do this the right way and to get back where I want. It’s not that the path is long, us PhDs have traversed many long paths, it’s that I don’t see the path and I can’t be sure that there is a path.

I want to continue to write about this, and I will, just to get it out my own head. Thank you for your eyes, invisible reader.




don’t stop believing..

First, thank me for making you sing this fantastic 80’s song inside your head for the rest of the day. In a high pitched nasal voice that too…dont stop believing.

Second, appluad me for posting this week too. Last week showed I definately still have atleast 1 reader. If you believe you are a reader, please show yourself now (no robots please).

Third, getting down to the post. So I am not a religious person, I don’t have faith or much paitence or trust that the lord will provide. I believe I am the master of my destiny, which makes me an internal locus of control type of person. (Techincal term, go with it for now) So Being this very internal action oriented person, I find I get very stressed out by events in my life. Specially things that are not in my control. For example, I can only apply for jobs, if they select me is an issue dependent on our match, my luck, the internal politiking etc etc. Yet it stresses me out. I am a worrier and I worry all the time. I worry about this whole job thing, and other random things all the time. Would’nt it be better then to acknowledge that is something else that governs it? Would it be easier than saying “sucky luck”? Would it be easier to shake a fist at god, and say dammit, when do i get repaid for dealing with 10 roommates in 51/2 years? Because when I think, my luck sucks, I am still thinking about myself, still blaming myself and still saying I suck. And this has got to stop. How much blame and suckiness can I carry around, blaming myself for every event and every rejection letter? What do you think? Who do you blame life’s sucky parts on ? mom and dad? the mastaaar? The stupid cat that is in yor head and usually crosses the road before you? Maybe I’ll find something.

I know , its all for the best, things turn out ok after all. Things baseline after a while. But right now, I am looking for the person reposnible for sleepless nights. And I hate sleepless nights, they suck.

Fourthly, guess whats the word of the day from this post.

Fifth, ok back to work, bye.

Sixth: next post: food /running I promise!

Another year, another fresh start, or is it?

The year, folk(s), hasnt begun very well. I have been a lazy and rather moany bum. Havent been doing enough of anything. But every year needs a recap and whats a blog without a recap? Well, this one is going to be without one to suitably express the sorry state of my blogging. Also, if so interested, the amazing moments of my life in 2009 are but a couple of scroll motions away. Be my guests!

What I am more interested in is this newly whitewashed, cleaned up year that I have just been presented with. Am sure you got it too. 2010. Nicely balanced digits, sum to my favorite number 3 and bear a certian weight and gravity? Or is that just because I feel this will be a momentous year for me? The year that will decide which path through the woods I will take. One that will lead me to an urban jungle, and the second I know not. There will be many such paths in the future, I know, but this is a big one. A big change, that has me waiting with baited breath. I have much work to do, less time to do it in, however, a certain part of me wants to listen to the coming of the change and moan under the covers. But it will come and I will have to make that transition from a student to the real world. I cannot hide anymore and niether do I want to hide. I want to shout, bring it on world, but then think of the level of hubris that would indicate and instead just whisper it to myself in my head.

Also, another momentous change, about to be brought to a computer screen near you is the fact that I really want to blog this year. I want to blog atleast once a week, every week and the content shall change a little bit too. So instead of writing just about my thoughts (since there’s so few of them). I will write about my workou knowledge and my food knowledge as well. Not all the time but sometimes. I do cook pretty well too you know. Mostly experimental and in my own fashion, but I do. So some days if I offer it up to you, would you say yes? If you do exist that is! I think i’ve probably driven any preexisting readers of this blog away, but hey, come back and bring your friends, we gonna partaaay in 2010, the momentous year with much balance and weight.

i been bad..sorry

There were so many things that were going through my head that I wanted to say. But sometimes, time and other times the words would run away from me. And nothing got said on this blog. A lot happened since I last posted. None of it life changing, not even mine, yet things kept happening consistently.

First I tunred 27, which by itself was a biggish deal. I mean seriously, it hit me harder than 25, now I am bonafidely closer to 30 than 20. Ouch. and still in school, still single, yep yep. still the same old.

The next more momentous event was the half marathon. The week before it I got the flu. I tell ya, it was touch and go. Will I or wont I run? But run I did. I was tired, my lungs hated me that day and the next day. But it was an amazing experience. I did stop and walk sometimes but did run most of it. To say that I got emotional at the end would be somewhat of a lie. I tend to forget where I started. I didnt think about the fact that this was the same girl who couldnt run 400 mts at school every morning. WHo always came last ( I didnt come last at the HM, thankfully) and who is still not skinny. I didnt think of all that, but I did appreciate how strong my body is to be able to carry me up all those hills and appreciated its ability to change so much.  To take all the abuse and not wear out and instead become stronger. Thank you body, for bearing with the mind and its fickle nature. I was rather happy when i met my friend at the finish line, she was excited, I was excited to be done and that was amazing! The mocha with whipped cream was awesome afterwards too and so was the yummilicious desi food. We also got haircuts which was a strange post HM thing to do..but that was what we felt like.

The next few days were pretty painful, my lungs hated me, my legs hated me and I loved the reminder of the pain.Yet, I dont think it was a singular achievement, It was great, it was fun to do, a new way to push myself, yet not something extraordinary..

The next thing of note was mom’s visit. It went by too fast and we didnt even have one single significant fight..How disappointing (not). She and I ate a lot, wandered around New Orleans and Manhappenin a lot and also read a lot, much vacation was had by all. She actually slept every night! I got to eat yumilious mommy food and show her all my favorite places around manhattan and some new places as well. It was great.

These are the things I have been up to. I do plan to post (As usual). I do have somet things to talk about, so more on that later!

and back (briefly)

Its been crazy, so I wont even say anything. There are fleeting thoughts that pass through my mind and I think about blogging but I dont, because they are fleeting and other weighty matters shoo them away and this blog remains ignored until a thought becomes stronger and manages to brush away some of the cobwebs around here.

I have been running a whole lot lately, prepping for the half marathon coming up. Recently, I was hanging out with my new boss at work, and we were talking about ability. He suddenly asked me what I was good at. For a bit, I was lost, what an I good at? The first thing that came to mind was dance. I used to be a good dancer, now I am not so sure. WHat else am I good at? At running? not really, too slow for that. What else is easy for me? I still draw a blank when I think about the answer to that question,

Then it occured to me…how often do we reinforce other people’s being good at something? We definately criticize when we  think someone isn’t right. But how often do we tell them that they rock at something? How many times in the past few days have you told someone that they are really really good at something. If you do so, you may be surprised to find that they are surprised you thought it was good.

Most times when people say I was good at something, I am surprised. In my past my family were the only people who thought I was good. Its only because they thought so that I do something now. And I think we all learn to look so uber-confident, that noone guesses we are uncertain of our ability to do something. And just telling them that they did a great job or that you really enjoyed their presentation makes someone feel a little bit surer of themselves, gives them a little confidence the next time they set out to do that thing again. and maybe they think of things to say when someone asks them about what they do well. Sometimes, you just need someone to tell you. And sometimes you just need to be the teller to carry around that lovely glow from the telling. So go on, tell someone specifically what they are good at..and tell me all about it!

why do you blog?

I, the infrequent blogger have blogged for a long while now. Albiet, unreliably but still I blog. I am also a reader of blogs. I like reading a large variety of blogs on my large variety fo interests. Most of them centering around food, fitness, finance (yess, i am interested in finance and what i’d do with money if i ever had any) and even random funny blogs. 

The question that popped up in my mind today after reading this post on “Every Gym’s Nightmare”, was that why do you blog? What motivates food bloggers to put up every morsel of food, what makes you want to post feelings or desires or random rants and ramblings or maybe even be like me, without a coherent theme. This blog is obviously no money maker for me. I do struggle with my weight, my relationships and have the same ups and downs as everyone else and sometimes I like to air ’em out. Most people know I do this thing here and hopefully very few of them actually follow it (sends up a short prayer on that one).

Blogs however, have become such a strong way of community building. People who enjoy food find other foodies. Mostly though they find lurkers like me who just like to experiment in the quiet of their kitchen and barely ever actually discuss it. Some find a sense of community in the fact that they are not the only ones going through a particular trauma or experience or lifestage or whachmacallit. Some find a fan following and much riches off their blogs, yet others find accountability by reporting what they eat or workout. In this increasingly isolated world sometimes it seems so much easier to find like minded people in the online world than to actually go about it the hard way, by slowly finding them one after another, sometimes simultaneously. But what to do when your interests are too diverse? I love working out and like to stick to a reasonable diet. I also love running, but I am also a reader who can stayed glued to a book for as much time as it takes to find out what happened. I love gardening, but dont have enough space to call mine a garden. I dont have much advice to give and nothing very spectacular done which says, here do this and ye shalt be happy.  I dont do much opnionating here, i have strong opinions on things which i prefer sharing personally in a conversation rather than on a loudspeaker. However mild I may be, I have gotten into trouble with this blog and therefore I hesistate before I write. Yet, I do, to think things through sometimes, to document events sometimes and mostly to just share and to keep in touch with folks I dont see or hear much from anymore.

Why do we read ’em blogs then? I like to know that others struggle too. I find that overly cheerful blogs put me off, as do overly sad ones. There has to be a bit of balance. Everyone has bad days but everyone has happy days too. I like some food for thought, some new thought process, something that sparks the creativity in the kitchen and outside.  I like knowing that there are others out there who think about food pretty much 24/7 as I do. I love peeking into their lives and seeing what different folk make of the same set of ingredients provided to them by life. Yet I dislike the hero status they get awarded and become celebrities and lose some of their former passion and become mouthpieces. I hate it when their real life gets in the way and they get stung by the presence of a blog.  I like the feeling that I know them, their thoughts and in the case of food bloggers, what they eat (which is an ever consuming passion of mine). So deceptive isnt it? You think you know a person so much more just because of their fb status updates or from their blogs but still you know only what they choose to put out there, as chandu recently iterated on her blog, you see but a sliver of their life, dont draw conclusions based on that. Take what is good and leave the rest. But the question remains why do you blog? or read blogs in general? or this one in specific?

saying goodbye

I struggle everyday with the thought of closing this blog. Sometimes, and more and more often these days, I have nothing to say. I open this and look at the blog, and say wow nothing to say. Then sometimes I look through the archives and they act as reminders of the phases I have ben through. Last year, I went through so many ups and downs, the then new boy and his antics, the crazy breakup and then never hearing from him again. Can be seen here . I reread it today and remembered what a painful time it was and how I had to remind myself to be happy. I actually have a post it of lists of things that make me happy in my office. But then not even a month after I wrote that post, I met someone who made me very very happy. He has been for me, a source of comfort, happiness, support and just plain joy. And now he’s left. Our paths have diverged, really had no choice in the matter. We will stay friends, there are some people that the word ex should not be associated with. He will always be my friend above all. I miss him, i miss him everyday and find myself storing up tidbits to share with someone who isnt there anymore.  I remind myself everyday, that sometimes the choices are taken out of our hands and one has to deal with the given. Trying not to deal with it bitterly or unhappily but with the knowledge, that this too shall pass and maybe in passing result in something brighter and better. I wish him much joy and happiness, because, still, inspite of its end, the happiness he brought never went away. Follow your rainbows, I will wait for mine.  I read this somewhere and rereading it helps too:

On our journey, we meet many souls with whom we interact, exchange energy, in a way that enhances our growth and theirs. We learn lessons together. We break bread. We share love. But there often comes a time to say good-bye.

A good-bye can come suddenly, unexpectedly, without much warning. Or a good-bye can be expected, planned on, and take a while to work out. The length of time doesn’t matter. What matters is how we handle our good-byes.

We can do it with our hearts open, saying thank you for all we’ve learned. Or we can close our hearts and bitterly say we’ve lost again. We can say good-bye with an attitude of trust, faith, and love, believing our hearts led us together, for the time we were close, to celebrate life and further our journeys. Or we can do it with harsh judgment, asking what’s wrong with us that our paths didn’t let us stay together. We can say good-bye with our hearts open, feeling our sadness, our longing, and our joy. Or we can say good-bye with emotions walled off, saying that’s just the way life is.

Sometimes, it’s hard to say good-bye. We can’t always choose timing, but we can choose the words of our heart. And sometimes it’s not good-bye. It’s till we meet again.

What do you think?