Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Weight Loss Ambition - Indian Men

I am elated to share that I got connected with many of my batch mates from engineering college after more than 20 years! Although, I am not a big proponent of social sites, I may have to reconsider that avowal. To be in touch with old buddies from across the world on a daily basis now rejuvenates me because it is really fascinating to get the opportunity to share life journey so far with people who are the founding members of my “dream and ambition club” in college and those who contributed selflessly to make me the person I am today.

Interestingly, there is one topic which we never pondered upon during our college days but seem very relevant today; losing weight. In our 24/7 WhatsApp sessions, we chat sometimes about how we can reach our goal weight if we make a commitment to it. Many of my near and dear friends have already challenged themselves to decrease their weight by as high as 25-30 pounds by the year 2015. Considering the importance of the subject and level of the seriousness in our group, I decided to write this blog based on my own weight loss experience and a bit of Internet research.

I also started on this path more than a year ago with a desire to reduce my body weight by about 25-30 pounds. I was around 190 pounds to begin with and in six months’ time, reached 165 pounds by controlling my diet, running and cross training. I was eating the required number of calories each day and at times adopted starvation diets too. However, the euphoria did not last long because once I diverged from that self-controlled and un-realistic diet routine, I started gaining weight, due to a lower metabolism. The science behind all this is the less you eat, the slower your metabolism, the less weight you lose. This “diet” leads to overeating and is sure to make you gain weight fast when you start eating normal again. Morale of the story is – “it is not so easy to lose weight, nonetheless, it is even more difficult to maintain the reduced weight and not go over-weight”.

Therefore folks, it is vital to discover a sustainable way of dropping weight. If your mindset is to just reach your target weight by a target date, you may cut down on eating extra calories or join a yoga club or gym to lose your fat, but rest assured you will eventually gain it in no time after you stop following the jaded routine. Therefore try adopting an exercise routine when you are on a weight loss mission or look for something that can keep your determination alive for a lifetime. Go out and join the neighborhood gym if you can afford to. Tai Chi, Pilates, walking or jogging are other alternatives for you to consider. It is important here to find something you really like doing without having any second thoughts. Remember, how we looked forward to playing cricket with the tennis ball in front of our hostel during the first two years of college? We should develop the similar kind of interest in the effort we are putting forth to lose weight; otherwise, the attempt will be futile. Quite understandably, it is a little different ball game now after more than two decades of our life out of college, considering we are busier now, have families to support and other relatively important responsibilities to fulfill.  But, are we not serious enough in our resolution to lose extra weight or lower the level of cholesterol?

Now resuming my weight loss story from earlier - I gained weight over time, although I was more conscious then ever about my weight and BMI. I was frustrated and dejected at times watching all of my six months of hard work and pain going in vain when I could not control my weight going up on the scale. That is when running helped me tremendously. Now, my focus was not losing weight but running and keeping myself fit for running. I decided to go for 5k charity runs, a few half marathons and now, I am aspiring for a full one.  My focus shifted from losing weight to finishing a race, which was challenging enough to give me a much-needed kick, and kept me chasing my dreams. Perfect eating habits are not my concern now; I don’t really care if I occasionally eat sweets and dark chocolate (which I am truly fond of).  Day by day, I become passionate about running and start liking the challenges associated with this sport. Running has a multitude of benefits and I have already written blogs on various topics based on my experience so far. The point I am making here is that the focus should be on establishing the connection with the sport or exercise that will help you lose weight rather than focusing on eliminating all your body fat in a stipulated time by adhering to mindless diet programs and un-realistic goals. Go for the long-term solution rather than the short-term magic. It will put you in a positive frame of mind and also make it easier to follow a diet plan. You will also see significant change in your energy and endurance level, which will also boost your confidence.  In my case, there is one another concealed benefit - although I am a social drinker and occasional smoker in US, it abetted my confidence level to control the urge as per my wish.  I feel like a winner now and that motivates me to run forever.   Now, my weight varies between 170-172 lbs, my BMI is below 23 and most importantly it has been consistent for the past several months which is what I wanted.

Friends, be realistic in your weight loss goal and method followed to attain the goal. I am not implying here that you jog or run and follow what I am doing. However, I must say that you find a likable way of losing weight. Even if you go on a snail’s pace, it will work and stay with you forever. When you set a realistic goal and meet it through enjoyable means, there is nothing to worry because you are attaining the target with no pressure. In the process and due course of time, it becomes an endless endeavor which will make you healthy, wealthy and strong forever.

Will you accept the challenge?

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Crazy races that are fun to run

You would think, running is boring and it is hard and it hurts and it is lonely and it disappoints you before it delivers result. Right?

Check what millions of people around the world practice to make it more fun than any other sport. Scroll through the pictures below to find about crazy races which are fun to run. Enjoy the read!

Source: CNN

Which one you think is the craziest race? Post your comments.

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