Wednesday, August 18, 2004

When every second counts

Working out does wonders for my body and mind. As my mom always says - "working out releases postivie hormones (forget the scientific term), which keep you feeling happy all day." Despite knowing the benefits of working out, the initial inertia prevents me from going to the gym on most days. I am always looking for excuses not to go. On days that I do manage to drag myself to the gym, I feel great after working out -- it gives me a high and I feel more energetic and happy. I used to enjoy running, but a skiing injury prevented me from running for past 2 years. Alternatively, I took to doing the stepper, which is so much harder. I've been going to doctors in the US for the same problem for almost 2 years and all they say is stop running. One even suggested that maybe some people aren't meant for running so I shouldn't even try. I got really discouraged after that. However, all it took was one visit to a doctor in India and the ailment got properly diagnosed. Somehow doctors in India seem so much smarter. Maybe they get to see more patients and have better experience in dealing with all sorts of symptoms. My problem was that I was suffering from osteomalacia - sever deficiency of calcium in the bones. It had been caused by my yo-yo dieting and lack of sun. I got a well-deserved scolding from the doctor, and my parents. My mom started force-feeding me calcium and my dad injected tonns of Vitamin D into my hip. One problem with having doctors as parents is over treatment. They got my brain scan done because my periods were a bit late (thankfully, everything turned out to be fine in that department).

The only problem with doing aerobic exercises in the gym is that you tend to get bored. On the plus side though, it is while working out that I mostly think of this stuff to write. One thought always occurs to me while working out in the gym. All people combined together in the gym seem to be generating so much energy, for example, weight lifters are converting so much potential energy into kinetic energy (if I remember my physics correctly). There must be a way to tap into all that energy. At the very least the gym should be made self-sustainable with it using no electrical energy. But then I see people driving around in circles, burning gas, trying to find the closest parking spot and it all seems useless.

On exercise that is never boring is swimming, which to me is the dessert of workout. Swimming does not seem like exercise to me. Perhaps I've gotten too used to constantly checking out the display of how many calories I have burnt so far; which I do check every minute, no second, actually I never take my eyes off the display. Or maybe I don't feel like I'm really burning calories because I don't sweat. Some of that Indian mentality seems to have caught on. In India I used to get really frustrated when people would not let me turn the A/C or fan on while working out because they thought that if they don't sweat the exercises are futile. It used to be so hot to begin with and with no fan, I used to suffocate. Those were not the proper conditions for working out. I wanted to knock on people's head and say, “hello, it's a simple matter of calorie burn versus intake; sweating has nothing to do with it, you dumb wits.” And here I am unconsciously working out on the same presumption.

They say weight loss is 10% exercise and 90% diet. My sister and I ate a makeshift dinner comprising of naan, butter and frozen sabjis. It tasted awful; the only thing that made it edible was my mom's homemade achaar. And to think I was cribbing when she was packing all the bottles of pickles for me. I “forgot” to declare my bottles of pickles when the immigration officer asked me if I was carrying any food. But that dinner was definitely not good for my body. My sister declared at the beginning of her summer vacation that she would be cooking regularly. She made paneer one day and delicious crepes on the second day. On the third day she weighed herself and found she had gained a couple of pounds since she moved in with me. So she decided to not eat anymore and starve us both. I rebelled and got myself Chinese takeout, and we both ended up eating the greasy Chinese food. On the days she's in a benevolent mood, she cooks up eggs, which is quite healthy. It's kind of pathetic the way I am dependent on my sister for feeding me. When she goes back to school, I'll be back to eating salad or fast food. With this diet it's a constant struggle to keep the weight off.

I read in a Desmond Morris book that it's natural to gain 3 pounds a year. And after finding a life partner the body's shape changes naturally. It was a very interesting concept. I don't remember exactly, but it was something to the effect that after you find someone, the body changes. Instead of having broad shoulders and a nice chest, men start gaining weight around the belly. In another book I read that the body keeps trying to achieve an optimal weight and will always bounce back no matter how hard we try. I'm not sure if these theories are true, regardless I choose to believe in them. It gives me a reason not to feel guilty about gaining a couple of extra pounds. Why fight nature?

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker