37

I usually write a blog post every year on my birthday but didn’t get around to it this year. Reason? I was busy and happily so. 

From the cutting of the cake (usurped by the offspring) to a 2-margarita lunch with a good friend, to the usual suspects barging in to wish me a happy birthday; it was a good day full of good moments turned into good memories.

What’s been happening since I hit 36? Well, work is rewarding as ever. I play multiple roles and am a self-titled bouncer and I have to say I like it! 

I don’t think saying ‘NO’ to people is the draw there. It’s more about having some semblance of order and things being systematic; quite a few things I regularly struggle for in my everyday life.  And while that makes it sound like I live in perpetual chaos, it would be fair to say that the “order in the disorder” is a good way to sum up my home front.

A good friend of mine always says that she can turn her OCD on and off and I’ve embarked on the same path. There are days I can spend oodles of time straightening up, making more space and keeping things tidy and there are other days when areas of the house look like we’re ready to hold a good ol’ fashioned garage sale!

The biggest change for me is going to the gym from January of this year and while the results are not earth-shattering, they are steady and they are real…what more can you ask for while stomping your way to 40?

More books are being read, more pictures are being taken and more is being learnt about the self on a fairly regular basis. And new goals, essential and non-essential, are being set to explore more meaning, more fun and to mark the passage of time in more memorable ways.

So this is me at 37…looking forward to 38.

Salut!

Gym Diaries: Jelly Arms & Pokey Things

This Thursday my trainer started me out on a slightly ramped up routine. Either that means that YAY! my stamina is increasing or that I really need as much help as I can! Am sure it’s a good blend of both because I do find it easier to get back into a groove without getting into what I call my “soggy-sweaty-mess” state and also because there is extensive help required in getting to desirable levels of good health.

Anyhoo…for the most part this particular regime has me moving my whole body more than the previous ones did and the way that’s happening is partly comical and outright ouch-inducing.

One of the exercises consists of me jumping onto a set of mats from a bent-knee position with arms swinging to give me momentum. But there’s a catch- I MUST NOT THUMP! My trainer lands like a cat. Barely any sound. But I THUMP. Quite thumpingly. He asked me not be terribly consciously of myself while jumping and to do it the way I used to as a child. I took him at his word and he said in his I-want-to-praise-you-but you-aren’t-there-yet tone, “That’s better. Now do it without the sound”. And therein lies the rub. Chunky people create sounds. We haven’t been light on our feet in a while so our movements overall including treads, gaits are fairly heavy. So I have many jumps to go before the thumping stops.

Now comes the more painful part of my story. The dreaded nemesis of the gym, the foam roller with the pokey thingies poking out all over it, has made a return in a vile form. And my thighs are begging for mercy. I’m supposed to lie down in a plank position and keep the instrument of torture under my thighs and just roll back and forth. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yeah, so were the circles in Dante’s Inferno!

But all drama aside, going to the gym has shaken loose one of my biggest fallacies: that my lard is going to protect me, dull some sensation of pain etc because there are layers of it just under my skin. But nooo…pokey things are designed to cut through fat and poke away to glory and make you cry for mommy. I really, really, really don’t think I’ll ever like that thing and am pretty sure that my thighs are getting permanent grooves in them from all the back and forth rolling.

Onto the jelly arms. No guesses here. I started on weights. And after the first 8 reps there was mini earthquake measuring around 5.7 or so in the Richter scale in my arms. And then there were aftershocks. I couldn’t fathom how wobbly my arms got. And this was with just a 3-kg weight.

The reason going to the gym often ends up being a slap in the face for many and leads to drop-outs is due to the image of yourself that you see emerging. Stamina, endurance seem to be words in a dictionary and you really don’t know how to summon any up and want to just lie down on the mat, have the world leave you alone to curl up and sleep away the hurt from the pokey things.

But those who can endeavor. Sometimes by getting their angst out via blog posts. Those who can’t, take a step back to less intense activities or attack the bag of chips with a new-found love or vengeance. But I decided that very day; the only jelly I wanted to see was on my plate and not in my limbs.

PS: The next post may need to be posted with Google Docs Voice typing because the era of jelly arms isn’t over yet.

Image courtesy- media.giphy.com

Realizations: Gym Diaries

My routine for going to the gym is pretty regularized now; am happy to report. Nothing worse than a break for legitimate reasons and then feeling the pinch while trying to get back on the metaphorical horse.

I realized a few things over the last week and here they are in no specific order-

What you wear is quite important. You may want to hide the bulges by wear loose clothing or comfort fit pants but when starting to get your groove back you need stuff that moves with you. Loose tees create a drag and when you see yourself sweaty and tired; you also see a person in rather shapeless attire which does nothing for the self-image.

Wearing seamless pants/leggings goes a long way in helping you move, bend and stretch. Soft capris and sweatpants maybe comfortable but the stitching for the pockets etc restrict movement rather than facilitate it.

This one is for the women- those of us who are top-heavy may invest in innerwear which contains but again it needs to be the kind which helps you move rather add more weight to a particular part of your body and make you feel heavier than you actually are.

I for one started out with the cozy, comfortable clothing that I had lying around at home rather than kit myself out with “proper” gym attire; not knowing if what I had was adequate or not and there was always that niggling doubt of sustainability. Why invest more money if you don’t know if you’re going to be able to see things through. But it makes a huge difference in achieving your goals if there are enablers along the way; even unlikely ones like one’s attire.

Getting a good night’s sleep on the day before you hit the gym is essential. Unless you and your stamina haven’t parted company  with each other and can wing it with just 4-5 hours of sleep, a good night’s sleep is restorative in ways one can’t imagine!

Taking a quick nap on the days you feel you need a nap is also sensible rather than a sign of weakness. When your body is fatigued it needs rest in some form or the other. People whose work hours aren’t as flexible as required need to find a way out of that one, but for me, a 30-45 mins catnap does a lot to make me feel more energized and actually soothes the tinges of sore muscles.

So what’s the underlying moral of the story- listen to your body. Dress it fabric that breathes well, allows more freedom of movement and invest enough time in vegging out because it does add to your overall health and always workout to funky beats!

 

Realizations: Gym Diaries

For all the smart alecky stuff I’ve written about my gym experiences, one thing stands out sharply in my mind; people have no business not being healthy!!

The larger you get from eating unwisely, the flabbier you get from not having adequate activity to stay fit and strong; the longer it takes to get to even the starting point of good health. And it’s hard; to say the least.

Being a short and heavy person, it takes me that much more effort to leverage my body up when I’m trying to tone up my torso. My upper body gets in the way of my trying to tone up my lower body and due to a sedentary lifestyle, even my wrists and ankles aren’t as steady as they ought to be.  The problem is we seldom break down our bodies beyond the cellulite, chunky parts and consider the wrists, elbows and ankles unless we sprain them somehow. The fact that they need to be and should be strengthened as well does escape most of us. Ironical since they are the levers and fulcrums that keep the body moving.

Today I was feeling Sisyphus‘ pain. Imagine doing something that’s supposed to get you to a better place and feeling bone-weary at the end of it; then resting up just to do it all over again. The means justifying the ends or the ends justifying the means has also never been more garbled for me.

And all this contemplation isn’t because the sweat got into my eyes, burning me this morning but because each time I came up against resistance in my body, I kept thinking that all this could have been avoided.  And should have been. But hindsight is usually 20/20 and all it can do is help us learn from the choices of the past.

So here’s to more protesting muscles, sweaty and dishevelled me staring back in the mirror but hopefully headed to a lighter tomorrow when climbing stairs, swimming laps continuously aren’t going to be viewed with trepidation but as something that’s can be achieved as a norm and *not* as the exception.

PS: Tomorrow we will return to the usual tone of the blog posts. Reflecting too much on what could have been is giving rise to major existential angst and my brain is too tired from the hip hinges I did today.

 

No Guts…No Glory

So the idea is that only if you have the guts will you feel the glory of getting rid of them and not being an official ‘rotunda’.

Sadly as women, the only time you get a pass from not being able to see your toes without bending is during pregnancy. Take that out of the mix and you have no reasons why your stomach precedes your entry wherever you go.

The idea is not to be buxom (let me tell you that’s a whole different can of worms!) or be model-thin. The former leads to few things fitting properly and the latter spells doom during strong winds and roller-coaster rides.

But one’s gut is the thing that’s possibly the hardest to get rid off. Even the clingiest kids get weaned off, literally and figuratively, before the gut melts into a plane or a plateau.

My metaphors are all over the place. Tends to happen post all that huffing and puffing in the gym.

Till the next installment of me and gut diaries…ciao!

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen

This is going into the category of a bloglet viz it’ll be brief.

There’s a book my husband bought me once the brat started pre-primary…it’s called How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk. Since the book did not mention anything about how to talk so husbands will listen and stop leaving wet towels all over the place; I decided not to do much about this book reco.

I already knew then and still know how to talk so my kid would listen- dress like a giant lollipop, have Play-Doh in one hand, the t.v. remote in the other and preferably enter riding on a dinosaur!

Maybe then….and maybe Utopia is just around the corner! Pshaw!!

utopia_in_four_movements_filmstill5_utopiasign.jpg (1650×1050)

 

Oh Snap!

The brat has his little friends. They can be quite a handful from time to time.

One of them came over a little while ago and was practically nose-to-nose with the not-small t.v set. When I asked her to move back a bit, she scooched back barely half an inch. So I asked her to move back a little more and pat came the reply along with little arms akimbo, “if you don’t let me watch t.v. from here, why did you keep the sofa so close to the t.v.?”

After I did my goldfish impression viz mouth opening and closing my mouth wordlessly a few times, I remembered that I was in the role of the responsible parent and told her that it might spoil her eyes if she kept watching television like that, she again answered with a, “no! and glared at the t.v to come and spoil her eyes if it dared!

I don’t think the television will be taking up the dare.