April 15, 2010

Losing inches and toning up .. at least that's the plan

So I'm decidedly on the overweight side of the scale. Not obese, not even in the danger zone on the BMI. But I'm not at my ideal weight. Or my preferred size (smaller! haha). I'm a bit of a sizist, and find it a bit hypocritical since I'm not where I should and want to be. Partially it's a visual apeal thing. I'm not into size 0, so skinny you can count my ribs. Think Madhuri a la Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and you've got what I consider to be the ideal body - for the most part. Partially it's a health thing. Genetically, I'm at risk for Diabetes and Heart Disease. Both of these can be avoided for a greater length of time (if not indefinitely) through control of diet and excercise. Having a healthier body, where the fat content is less and diet is balanced, will only help me in the long run. Not to mention, as a future doctor I think it's only right to lead by example.

So diet and excercise. And when I say 'diet' I'm not referring to some fad where you avoid x, eat only y, or drink z 3 times a day. I mean a healthy proportion of the entire food pyramid, with a target number of calories consumed daily (target calorie intake reflects amount of excercise achieved daily as well). But I'm a total foodie. And I live on a tropical, where it is astonishingly difficult and expensive to get fresh fruits and vegetables. And I'm a total foodie =D I try to remind myself moderation is key, but I typically don't say no to a food either (unless it's bittergourd or eggplant/brinjal. blech!). I do try to limit the sweets and carbs, but most of meals involve either rice, bread or pasta. While I'm on the island and going through med school, I'm not going to concern myself too much over this angle. Much of it is out of my control. I'm sure the caffeine diet I'm about to endure through clinicals and residency will balance out the carb-intake from these past 2 years.

Excerise is not my friend. Rather, I find it boring. For most people it's the waist-line that motivates them to excercise. And yes, my waistline does concern me. But what really motivated me to resume some form of an excercise regime was the state of my calves. For as long as I can remember they've been firm, well shaped, and well muscled. The toning is most likely thanks to 4+ years of Tae Kwon Do. But that's talk of 5 years ago (oh gosh!). Any excercise, even just walking from class has minimized since the bus comes right to the apartment complex and all my classes are held in one room. Disuse has lead to less firm calves, and I'm determined to get them back!

So, this shall be a log/journal of sorts. I'll periodically update with any progress made. I'm not a stickler for weight or dress sizes. Weight reflects muscle mass as well, and the idea is to replace the fat with muscle. Dress sizes are a gimmick. I'm most concerned about bringing out the potential body that's hiding within me. Wish me luck! ;)

My routine includes 50 sit-ups and 50 leg-raises in the morning, and stretching and 20 low, middle, high front kicks each in the evening. I started 5 days back. On the second and 3rd days I felt that burn, the one that lets you know you're working muscles that forgot they existed. Sadly on the third day in itself I started slacking off. I've kept up the morning routine, but by the end of the I either get lazy or too tired, too full (it's never a good idea to excercise right after eating) to fit in the evening routine. To make excuses for myself, it is finals week and that is definitely priority. My eating and sleeping habits are off kilter (note, it's 4am right now!) and that doesn't lend to a proper excercise schedule. Call it all growing pains - I'll adjust my life to ensure including my evening routine as well. Having missed it 2/4 days, I'll make a concentrated effort not to ignore the kicks today. I have a feeling I have a few more sore days left in me.

I'll up the number of sit-ups, leg-raises and kicks as I adjust to the soreness and develop a tolerance for that level. I'll also vary the kicks once I'm back in form with the front kicks. Additionally I want to incorporate a bit of yoga into my routines. I won't get into how it really is very beneficial for your body. Suffice to say, I've seen it works and really want/need to make it a more regular part of my life. Everytime I stop I notice a regression to pre-yoga body. Pity there's no permanent 'fix'; maintaining a healthy, toned body takes work. I want to work in a Surya Namaskar - the full body stretch you get from that is incredible! Plus a couple positions/postures my dad taught me; the ones I want to incorporate all target either weight reduction/control or keeping diabetes at bay. Oh and eventually I want to add push-ups. I've never been any good at them, but they really are very good for building up arm muscles. But that's for a really later date, haha.

Anyway, enough of that. The point of making this a public log is so that there's a record of my making this committment. Hopefully that will encourage me to stick to it this time around. And maybe, if people do read this, it might encourage someone else (even just one person) to take up a healthier lifestyle =)