Welcome to 50 shades of fitness! A fun and interactive way of keeping me on my health and fitness journey. In the last few years I have spent a lot of times trying to get fit, back to my original way of living life in a healthy and fun way of fitness. Unfortunately, the motivation factor disappeared, the same ole gym routine got bored and I was gaining weight and my fat percentage was too high. Everyone told me, “You look fine” which maybe I did, but there were a few who kept me in reality. After trying almost just deciding that I didn’t care as much and trying to lose that weight was not as important to me, two tings struck me hard. I had my cholesterol tested in an annual physical and my triglycerides came out way too high. Yes, a hereditary problem, but If I was fair to look at it, my lifestyle of eating patterns contributed to it too. The doctor gave me 3 months to get it in check naturally without any medication. That scared me because within that week, I kept hearing of people in their 40s,50s and early 60s who would go to sleep and not wake up. People I knew. Either a stroke or heart condition was the issue. I had just found some path in life where I felt at peace and I wanted to see that through, not be on a ticking time clock! Second was my dear granny…she came to visit and then gently put to me that although I looked great, she was worried because I clearly had gained weight that needed to be lost. She said it was my choice…something my own mom had been telling me for a year. So with those 2 truths under my belt, and the guidelines the doc gave me to get my cholesterol down, my mindset got very hard. I ate wholesome healthy foods every 3 hours. I played mind games with myself saying that I was under training for an important event (which at that time there was nothing) and I needed to “look the part”. Fruits, vegetables and yoghurt were my friends. Wine, cheese, fried foods were things of the past. In 1.5 months, I concentrated just on what I was eating, how much I ate out and I lost 13 lbs! All my life I had easily been at a set weight and I was determined to get back to that because that was where my fitness level made me feel my best. This is where I also learned 90% of losing weight is diet. I didn’t frequent the gym much. I just went for evening walks and moderated the amount of calories and foods I ate. Due to the cholesterol, my foods had to be prepared very smartly and with less oil, ghee and condiments. Every now and then I would frequent something new that I had started loving which helped me mediate and clear my mind which was swimming. I saw my levels of energy coming back and being able to swim more laps in the same amount of time as I grew stronger. However, to stress….the level of fitness activity I did was very less up to this point. I focused on diet and whole some foods.
In the last one month, I have allowed myself to be normal for some time and I ate whatever I want but in moderation. Believe it or not, in about 1.5 months, I have not gained a single pound. Now comes the last stretch. Now I do have a real reason to want to get back the stamina and look better and stronger as I have my brother’s wedding coming up. So comes the 50 shades of fitness. The shades in the title reflects how fitness can be implemented at many different levels..it’s not just going to the gym and working out for 2 hours and being frustrated on not seeing results. Results also come in different forms…when I am not focused on losing weight, I use different benchmarks on how fit I am. For example, I ran a 10K couple years back. With my back and knee issues, I stopped running as much and today I will probably struggle to do a 5k. My goal is to get that back. I love yoga…I go to yoga once a week..maybe I up that in the coming weeks, because that not only helps the toning but helps calm my active mind. Whatever makes you feel good. A good friend of mine called me yesterday and said she finally ran 1.5 miles without stopping and felt so amazing about it and how running helped her FEEL good mentally. That is the key. That is the point. Set your personal goal and strive to it. The other big thing I learned is to not depend on the weighing scale. My weight can fluctuate by a few pound daily based on water retention or what I had done the day before. No more than once e a week of not every 10 days. My other trick is to find a pair of jeans you want to fit into and use that as a benchmark. I was able to fit into a pair of jeans which I had not worn in 3 years! I kept it…now I have more jeans I kept that I am striving towards getting into. I know it is not a bad goal because I fit into those jeans once upon a time so it means I am striving to get back to my original form.
So, in 50 shades of fitness, I am going to build my stamina in the gym this time around as well as eat perfectly well as the cholesterol check is coming up soon for 50 days. We are all human so we have to keep some room for some “cheating” but the key is this: The days you have ONE cheat meal a week or every 10 days, those are the days you just don’t skip your workout. The days you don’t workout, are the days you make sure you eat as healthy as you can. I also plan what I eat for the week in advance so there’s no question about what my nest meal is. I just know and don’t reach for the wrong thing in the heat of the moment of being hungry. Also, hydrate hydrate hydrate. If you are on also embarking on this journey with me, I would be happy to have you follow along, keep me accountable and ask questions or give suggestions! I will be doing articles on superfoods I have discovered and the health benefits of these natural foods, interviews with fitness professionals, and I am even open to guest bloggers to share their journey or experience or difficulty to their story! The goal is to motivate as many people as you can.
So to ensure you don’t fall off the wagon and make many huge changes at the same time, I always like to start with one change. The first 3 days I am only focusing on eating clean and may add in a few walks as I see fit. As we get to the weekend, the gym will take its start and I will post some workouts I like to do. Some of the rules I live by:
- Don’t get goals you cannot keep. Be mindful of what is realistic and don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Get rid of anything in a can or a bag and alcohol. This is key. A glass of wine maybe every 10 days is fine but anything more can push back seeing results
- Eat wholesome healthy foods. Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables in season. Color on your plate is key and fun to look at!
- Go grain free or close to grain free. It helps balance the body’s hormones and you may even find out your body functions more energetically without grains (Like I noticed I did!)
- Measure out your portions and log everything you eat or drink. I love to use myfitnesspal which is an app I put on my phone and log my workouts and what I eat and drink. This shows me where I go wrong or where I need to add more protein, carbs or fat.
- Have fun and have a strong mindset!
- Water is your best friend. Sometimes I feel hunger pangs and I drink some water and feel really full and realize I just was a bit dehydrated. I try for at the minimum 3 Litres/day.
So the first few days will focus on food. I call is my “detox” because getting from eating yummy processed foods and eating out after a long vacation out of the country makes it harder to get back to wholesome foods, but in some ways it is easy because I am sick of eating out! I have to thank the next celebrity nutritionist interview (where I will explain and talk about how her plan helped me buckle down and keep myself in track) for planning this detox for me and ensuring every single day via whatsapp that I am in line with my goals. Back to taking a hard look at what is going to stabilize my triglycerides and build my stamina! I was telling a friend today, its not easy at all to be this strict, but when it is for ensuring you live a long healthy life, what is a few weeks of being strict with your mindset to get yourself to that point!? And who says this can’t be fun!?
What are your fitness goals?