Fitness In The Time Of Corona

Fitness In The Time Of Corona

Admit it: there have been a million times when you’ve complained that the gym was too crowded. Or that people had zero hygiene in there. And that you felt weird working out in front of other people. And you ended up not going in for your fitness sessions while that membership you bought died a slow, unmemorable death. Admit it.

And then the Corona Pandemic struck and you told your friends: I was supposed to start working out tomorrow, duuuuuuuude, but the stupid gym’s closed! And you went ahead, plonked your laptop on to your lap, put on your earphones and started binge watching FRIENDS all over again, while the bags of chips and soda bottles accumulated rather nastily on the floor. Admit it.

The thing is, you can’t blame a pesky virus for neglecting your fitness goals. Remember the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? I’ll go to the gym five days a week. I’ll eat quinoa and kale and snack on berries when I’m hungry. I’ll give up on alcohol and sugar and trans fat. Remember that? No, right? Everything has flown out of the window, and it didn’t even take a day of Coronavirus situation.

In order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, we’re all staying indoors. Some of us are panic-buying provisions. Some of us are eating too much at a go. Many people are drinking WAY too much and smoking joints and they seem to have forgotten that it’s just as bad to have lung cancer. I mean, YOLO, right? Wrong. Our lifestyle has gone from varying forms of active to one hundred percent sedentary. Which means that if you’re someone who, let’s say, is on a fifteen hundred calorie per day allowance with a three hundred calorie burn allowance, you’re actually just adding the whole calorie budget, AND THEN SOME, into your body since you’re not getting any exercise. That sentence was a mouthful but you need to know that I feel very strongly about this.

I know it’s hard to resist food during times like this. Specially when you’ve gone out of your way and hoarded everything, including other people’s share. You eventually end up stress-eating because WFH feels more like WTF and you legit. Cannot. Stop. Eating. And despite all my preaching *heh heh* I’m honestly no saint, either. At the same time, I don’t want to emerge from the quarantine looking like this:

NOT that it’s bad or gross to look like that, but I don’t want central obesity, heart attack and I know how terrible the hospital situation is, globally. So, issa no. I’m trying my best to stay fit without feeling the need to depend on outdoor or gym activities, and I’m not doing much, not really, but I feel like it’s the little things:

• Limiting calorie intake: It’s been a week since I’ve gone into complete self-isolation with the husband, and I’ve reduced my calorie intake by about one-third of my everyday calorie allowance. Do I feel good about myself? No, not really. But is my body working fine? Yes. No paunches reported.

• Home workouts: That yoga mat and Chloe Ting and lightweight dumbbells are coming in handy. Chloe posts a bunch of workout videos that are super easy to follow, while being super effective at the same time. Here’s the link to her two-week shredding programs – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAFs3kxY4h18ubPUONHriXCgo0YD4rmSW. She also posts meal plans that are super filling – I’ve tried a few of them, and they work.

When NOTHING works, you can actually walk around in your living room. It’s the little things, it’s always the little things.

• Doing my chores – This brings me to my last point. Mopping the floors and doing the dishes, doing the laundry and climbing up a bunch of stairs, actually sweeping the floor instead of asking your cleaning lady to do it, burns a crap ton of calories. Belly today, washboard tomorrow. Thanks to the pocha. Thanks to the Corona Pandemic, I’ve also been hydrating like a fish. Just water, I promise you, works wonders.

At this point I can’t even laugh at my own jokes anymore. I’m petrified of what’s happening. Staying in and doing chores and making sure I am not a reason for the spread has put a lot of thought into perspective. Human life is so fragile and the worst part is we ruin things by not following protocol. Or caring about things. It’s a pandemic of epic proportions and each one of us needs to be responsible. And you don’t need me to tell you this, but for YOUR sake, stay home and stay safe. On that note…

How are you staying fit during these dark times?

Five Habits That Changed My Life

Five Habits That Changed My Life

As you get older, you face a bunch of issues, and I’m definitely no different. First came the busted kneecap. Then came the sudden appearance of astigmatism. The lactose intolerance decided it had a vendetta against me. My neck, my back, oh everything cracked. And chiropractors are expensive, and taking a bunch of pills isn’t ideal. That’s when I decided to actually do something about whatever was happening.

There isn’t much that I’ve been doing, really. Just five things, and I did ask people over on my Instagram (via a poll) if they’d be interested in reading about it, and a lot of people happened to say yes. So here goes, a comprehensive list of five things that I’ve been implementing into my daily routine, which actually have gone on to make my life a whole lot easier:

• Restricting social media activity.

Also known as minding your own business, this is an EXCELLENT way to keep your mental health great. I don’t comment on people’s posts even if they’re triggering me. I simply unfollow, or maybe mute things, and I scroll past.

I don’t post about my personal life on the internet and I don’t compare what I’ve got with what someone else’s got. When there’s no room for jealousy, because you’re nipping it in the bud, it actually helps you thrive.

And boy, am I thriving. * knock on wood *

• Logging in my meals.

I use this app called HealthifyMe, and it gives me a daily calorie budget. Before I reach out to grab that bag of blue Lay’s, a little voice in my head goes: those are just empty hundred and sixty six calories, you don’t need them. And I stop immediately because staying within my calorie budget is a fitness thing I’m very much into, and I refuse to not be able to stick to my goals.

• Body language.

I used to slouch, and I’d have put Quasimodo to shame. No offense to Quasimodo because he was born with it, and I kinda gave myself a slouch situation, but okay.

I don’t do that anymore.

Sometimes I’ll walk around the vicinity or even find a wall to stand against and I ensure that my back is ramrod straight. Gone are those days of back pain and my weird posture that made me look zero confident and unimportant. I still don’t look important (YET) but I’m going to get there. Soon. Body language is very important when you’re trying to hold someone’s attention and to make an impact. Unless you’d rather blend into the wall (“Issa me”), this projects confidence and makes you look like you’re someone who’s worth it.

And don’t we all want to be worth it?

• Staying away from the phone.

I barely use my phone anymore. I don’t text much. I don’t scroll through my explore page. I read an actual book, and no, I don’t feel the need to post about it, and I actually enjoy my time away from the screen.

And there’s this weird peace that comes from being able to keep your phone away. Voluntarily. Try that sometime.

• Clean eating and skincare.

I’ve said goodbye to strict keto.

Most of my food is plant based, and there’s no dairy in my diet. This has kind of led to a reduction in the frequency of my acne breakouts. I don’t juice anymore. If I need to eat a fruit, I actually go eat a whole fruit. Bananas are amazing for you. I did a whole post too. So are oranges in the winter. Full of good stuff.

Also, Vitamin C is something I’ve been using religiously in my skincare now. It protects your skin from pollution and such, and following it up with SPF after has made so much difference to my skin in a short span of time – I’m hooked.

Is there a lifestyle change you’ve made that actually is working wonders for you?

The Problem With Being Me

The Problem With Being Me

It hurts to exist

It hurts to kind of not

There’s no way to fix things

And yet, you can’t let them rot

I post a story

You have stuff to say

Most days you’re concerned, genuinely

But today’s not the day

I’m meant to be happy

To smile and to glow

I’m in love, you see

And it’s supposed to show

The problem with being me

Is that I feel way too much

I want to blend in

I want to vanish at a touch

History

History

My problems were never important

Hers are, because she’s new

I’m dramatic but she’s an angel

She’s the only one that could impress you

She’s sensitive, I’m shrewd

She’s the only person that matters to you

Even when angry, she’s cute

And me, I’m just a fluke

You throw verbal abuses my way

Like I don’t have feelings at all

And if I ever dare to cry

You make sure I take the fall

It’s a good thing a lot doesn’t last

And that toxicity comes to an end

It’s a relief once bridges burn

I’m happy we’re no longer friends

Three Things You Cannot Be Thanks to the Modern Economy

Three Things You Cannot Be Thanks to the Modern Economy

The economy is changing. Fast. There’s a huge growth in competition and consumerism and it’s hard to keep up at times. As a millennial, struggling with whatever demon you’re currently fighting internally, sometimes you miss your calling. And this becomes a long-standing issue. With social-media influencing becoming a growing career, here are three things you can absolutely not afford to be today.

1. Lazy: You have to hustle. Unless you were someone that would soon inherit millions, you cannot afford to be lazy. Irrespective of your gender, you need to have something that you’re passionate about. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of jealously and you often find yourself wishing what a certain twenty-something-year-old rich influencer had. But wishing alone isn’t going to give you what you’re looking for. And if you do want to be lazy, you’ve to make smart choices. Weigh the pros and the cons before you decide on taking the plunge you’ve been debating about.

This is also why you should wait it out till the right person comes along, before deciding to go ahead and saying, “I do.” Marriage is particularly difficult these days.

Which brings me to point two.

2. A Stay-at-home wife/husband: Back in the day, let’s say even a good decade ago, being a stay-at-home wife (or a husband) wasn’t really a bad thing. You could chill at home and (specially in India) with your domestic help doing most of the work, you would have a lot of time to care for your kids, you could be very hands-on, and have a healthy marriage too.

You probably can’t do that anymore. Almost everyone has a job that overworks and underpays at the same time. Now unless you were married to someone with a very, very high-paying job or maybe a very good business, you really cannot be too dependent on your partner. Plus, if you’re a woman, chances are that some other woman is going to actually shame you for not having your own finances sorted.

And I’ve seen this happening in person. And it gets worse each time.

3. Generous with money: This one is a BIG no-no.

Don’t stay friends – actually it’s a bad idea to even give too many people your phone number – with a bunch of people. A lot of people won’t hesitate to take a screenshot of something you’ve said, and forward it to someone else and start a fight. And fights lead to negativity and stress and eventually, depression. And nobody understands what you’re possibly going through even in 2019.

If you’re someone that gives loans despite being in trouble yourself, you need to stop immediately. Money creates a lot of rift between good friends too. Also, don’t be a spendthrift because you don’t want to be broke at the end of the month.

On that note, hope you’ve had a wonderful and pollution-free Diwali if you’re someone that celebrates. ✌🏼

Manipulation

Manipulation

You mansplain things to me

Like I were born yesterday

Like I lack the ability to see

Like I need to trust everything you say

You try to get inside my head

Like I were as fragile as a glass jar

Like I were weak, powerless, underfed

Like I don’t understand who you are

Haven’t we been down that road

Over and over again

You have me in a figurative choke-hold

Trying to drive me insane

Haven’t you hit where it hurts the most

Haven’t you tried the same tricks before

Reducing me to only a ghost

So lost I can’t find my way back anymore?

I’m so used to your manipulating me

That it doesn’t surprise me, you see

Talking about old love and money

Isn’t going to make me submit to your whim, baby

The Other Man

The Other Man

It was day five. She didn’t want to tell her man what was going on with her.

Darkness fell, and her face changed. She felt the presence of something within her, consuming her, she felt her body start to contort. Her eyes fell on the mirror on the wall. In the low lights of her Hollywood vanity she saw her scleras blacken. Something else stared back as she looked at herself in the mirror.

It was less than a week to the wedding – all she could think of was how to get rid of the other man, this demon that had been taking over her body every night. Every night, at the same time.

It’s NOT Love

It’s NOT Love

It’s true that you fall in love

That doesn’t mean you can’t rise in it

Doesn’t mean when push comes to shove

You end up alienating every human being

It’s not love if you’re being psychotic

It’s not love if it’s baseless,

If it only ends up being chaotic

Both for you and for them

Love teaches you to be selfless and kind

To let go so it comes back someday

Love doesn’t cast evil shadows on your mind

If it does, you’ve got it confused with something else

It’s not love what you’re feeling at this moment

It must be hormones, the need of the flesh

It’s not love, putting your mum through torment

It’s not love, if you’re acting like you’ve been blinded

Oh it’s not love, you’re being selfish

Why must everything go the way you want it

There are better ways to make a wish

It’s not love if you’re being consumed by the Devil.

Dugga Dugga

Dugga Dugga

The festive season felt ominous for some reason. He hadn’t called. And he hadn’t let her know when he’d be home.

She’d been dolled up for hours: she’d had her hair, nails and makeup done, and she’d put on the new saree he’d got her for Pujo. But he was supposed to be home a few hours back and he wasn’t. And she couldn’t get through to him on the phone either. It kept saying that his number was unavailable.

An expert at overthinking, she’d paced ten times around the room and scolded herself for not having said the customary Dugga Dugga when he left. Bengalis do that a lot and it had been their thing too, and she was scared something must have happened to him because she’d forgotten to say it. But she hadn’t called either set of parents yet because she knew they’d worry. And they were all super old. At the same time she’d contemplated asking her father-in-law how much time it took to buy a few haadis of roshogolla and some boxes of sondesh in Kolkata on a Saptami evening, but that would have given the whole thing away and they’d have asked questions about their son anyway.

She was about to give up, when the doorbell rang, revealing a very haggard man in a now-wrinkled set of panjabi-pajama, who was panting and out of breath.

He looked annoyed and exhausted and sweaty as heck but she smiled and smothered him with kisses and hugs.

“Ah, Anu, never send me to buy mishti for baba-ma on any day of the pujo. My phone died, and the shop was crowded and I had to wait in line. Now let me go shower.”

“Cubic Zirconia”

“Cubic Zirconia”

“Look, I just got engaged”, Mel said, showing off her enormous diamond ring. “This is a five carat diamond, babe! I mean, have you seen me? I’m a solid ten. And have you seen my dear fiancé? Oh my God, fiancé. Kinda weird saying it out loud but I mean I’m WAY out of his league, so the bald old dude has to keep me happy, right?”

Taken aback by shock at Mel’s choice of words for her new fiancé, Sylvia did her best to act happy. She smiled at Mel and raised her glass to her.

“I’m so happy for you Mel,” she said quietly, feeling miserable that she didn’t even get a real ring from her fiancé. That cubic zirconia sat on her finger, almost reprimanding her. Sylvia could hear her mother’s voice telling her, from somewhere far away, “I told you not to marry Tom, you could have found someone so much nicer, let’s see how he takes care of your stupid high-maintenance butt.” She pictured her mother, fresh from a Botox session, saying no vehemently to meeting Tom for the last time. And that had been the final straw. Both women were headstrong but Sylvia was also obstinate to the point of no return. Or at least she had been.

Her mother had married young and had Sylvia at twenty one. They had been wealthy. And she grew up spoiled and then, fell in love. That was three years ago. She’d married against her family’s wishes and her parents had cut her off. She and Tom lived in a tiny shoebox apartment, barley managing to make ends meet. She worked as a teacher and Tom, a struggling entrepreneur. They didn’t have much; but Tom was an amazing husband and they loved each other. As she remembered their very, very tiny court wedding, she felt a warm glow in her heart and realized that her mother had been wrong and that Tom was indeed, the best she could ever get.

Her phone buzzed loudly; and she snapped out of her reverie and she saw a message from Tom:

“Home early, I’m going to pop into the shower and order takeout. You’re going to take ages to choose so I’ll just order my favorites. BUT you are my favorite and I want you to know that. How long are you going to be out with Mel? I miss you!”

Tom had been away the whole week, meeting a few investors and trying to pitch his ideas, but with zero success. And he didn’t want to be upset about it, because Sylvia was a compulsive over-thinker and would stay up late if she found out that he was feeling low.

Sylvia smiled at the phone and replied to Tom’s text, saying she’d missed him too and that she’d be home just in time for dinner.

Sometimes you don’t need a five-carat diamond, you only need a five-dollar takeaway meal, and love. Pure, unadulterated, beautiful, love.