Also, I didn’t have much choice, considering we have been in lockdown since I moved back to India.
I wonder how the dating world will be once we return to post pandemic life. How do you hug and kiss with masks and 6 feet distance? Will you go out for dinner or prepare something at home? What would be the new norm? Or will we stick to virtual dating for a while?
Oh! Sorry! Sorry! I digressed from the actual intention of this blog: DATING MYSELF! No, not because I am bored or have no cute neighbor trying to do one of those ‘How to ask someone out during quarantine’ (I don’t actually), but because I owe it to myself! We all do! We have enough reminders out there of why we are not good enough, or why we need someone to complete us, but it takes active efforts to love ourselves as unconditionally as we love others.
Now, beware, I have not mastered the art of self love. In fact, I am just getting started. I am probably at level one, and I must admit , it already feels pretty good!
For as long as I can remember, I had no issues with the way I looked or felt about myself. Even with remarks that would often come my way about losing weight, there was nothing that would particularly bring me down. Because in my heart I knew I was doing my best and I had issues such as PCOD (Polycystic Ovary Disease) that contributed to my weight fluctuations. Growing up in India, like most important topics, speaking about anything period related was/is such a stigma. Unfortunately, this very taboo leaves you with lack of knowledge about what you are facing and what you can do to improve it. It wasn’t until recently (after almost 10 years of suffering with PCOD) that I realized what was happening to my body, what I could do about it and how to say goodbye to those medicines forever!
Just to give you a brief idea about it – PCOD or PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a condition that causes hormonal imbalances, leading to irregular periods, weight gain, acne, facial hair (all things women are fond of!) So next time you are wondering why someone is having mood swings, or why they may have gained a few pounds, you will have a reference of possibilities that may be the cause and could also help you approach the issue more sensitively.
Coming back to my earlier point about how weight gain remarks did not affect me, it was because I found it easier to listen to what someone said than to explain to them what my body was going through. In the short term, this is an easy solution, not so much in the long term, because it became a convenient excuse for me to not read up more about it and always have a reason to blame everything on.
And the biggest example of this isn’t when my PCOD was at it’s worst, but when it was slowly starting to leave my body.
In 2016 – 17 when I was at the peak of my weight loss/ fitness journey, everything was starting to fall into place, and my hormones had finally found paradise. But in 2018 and 2019 when I moved three different continents, lived in different climates and ate foods that weren’t in sync with my body, all the efforts went for a toss, PCOD slyly found its way back to me and I lost track of how and where to pick up. It was then that how I looked and felt and weighed had its effect on me. Because I had tasted how I looked the previous year, and suddenly the current version of myself was unacceptable to me. And that’s what kicked off the self loathing.
Not eating the right food — Alcohol — Change of Place — Change of Weather — Anxiety — PCOD — Weight Gain —————- AAAHHHHHH!!!! It’s a vicious cycle, really!
But wait, what is that? That thing staring at me from my book shelf? It’s screaming at me :O
And it was that simple, all I had to do was pick up Rujuta Divekar’s book on PCOD – Read, Understand and Adapt (Not so simple!)
It’s like I had been leading my life assuming I knew the Ramayana only to find out later who Ram really was. I just assumed my whole teenage life that I knew what PCOD was, without knowing what the P stood for. Thanks to her book, things are different now.
Which brings me to the real and most important part of this post: how did I finally get back on track.
Reading the book was a recollection of what I had done back in 2016; this time with a greater focus on how to improve the issues at hand. And as you know my favorite thing to do – make charts, and have habit trackers up my wall! As I have shared in my earlier posts: Mangrove Place: Where the Magic Began and Where’s All the Food At? and in the words of the great Rujuta herself, it’s 80% diet and 20% physical activity. The lockdown paved way for strictly eating home food and plenty of time for working out.
Combining mom’s ever delicious food (concurring with the dishes in the book) with workouts by my favourite Casey Ho – for that magical toning, has truly been the perfect recipe for getting back on track. And because I am literally doing this whole process for a third time, I decided to add a very significant element: Meditation.
Note to all Schools: PLEASE , PLEASE include meditation as part of the curriculum and replace detention with meditation. And you will see, the world will be a better place.
As you can see below, the Blogilates workouts (by Casey Ho) targets a different body part on each day. Following this calendar was extremely helpful in staying focussed and consistent while also making it easier to choose workouts.
In some of her videos, Casey says “Fitness is all about going to the next level!” I didn’t quite understand this, nor did my body, until she brought out the May Calendar:
If you notice, each week focussed on a specific muscle group and the videos that were uploaded were intense. Today marks the end of the four weeks of 7 day challenges (Good Lord! I am still feeling that burn!) and this is more of a celebratory post, because truly I feel stronger, happier, healthier and I am ready to move to the next level of fitness!
Small Quarantone moments captured by mommy dearest, my biggest cheerleader!
Even though I started this journey on the incorrect note of wanting to look different, I am happy that my mind is shifting to enjoy the fact that I have finally gone from being able to do nothing on the push up bars, to 20 at once. I am happy that I crave for the 15 minutes of mindfulness that are positively impacting my mental health. I am happy that my body is receiving the right nutrients and is feeling nourished all day.
And finally, I am happy that as I write this my mom is bringing me bhajji (on this rare rainy Hyderabad day) to celebrate my parents 27th anniversary and of course the completion of my 31 days of non stop challenges!