100-day Fitness Challenge Wk#1: Of water & walking….

Wassup World….. sometimes all you need is a kick…and I surely am kicked about taking up the 100-day fitness challenge starting NOW: 6 am….16th May 2015!!! It’s quite simple actually: Week#1 is all about upping the liquid intake and exercising 30 minutes diligently…everyday. The aim obviously is to first flush out the toxins by loading up on water, buttermilk, low-fat milk, clear soup, juice or soya milk. There’s no talk of not eating! Which is so refreshing. It automatically gives you ownership of your fitness routine.

The exercise regimen outlines a very basic 5-minutes warm-up…followed by 20 minutes of brisk walking and then a 5-minute cool down with stretches. It asks for so little…so basic from you that it hardly seems like a challenge!! Most of us do way more than that on a regular basis. My own routine, and once again friends will vouch for it, is a goodish mix of business and pleasure… so regular yoga, tennis, gyming, an occasional run & by and large healthy eating balance out the TGIF drunken soirees, vanilla ice cream and choco brownie indulgences and an odd junk food binge.

Why the hell then am I taking up the challenge? I’ll tell you… with the kind of yo-yo life that I, a certified global nomad, lead – moving cities and sometimes countries ever so often – the process of being yanked out of your comfort zone can be quite a strain. New place…new people..new routine…new LIFE…It’s a tectonic shift of emotions and the physical and mental plates take time to readjust and settle in a harmonious balance with the new environment. In the meantime, our well laid plans and organised routines go for a mighty toss. Surely there are some sticklers, whom nothing can move, but I surely do not fall into that category. No Sir. Mine’s a very down to earth, real reaction to such emotional upheavals: I hover on the fringes of what some might call sheer misery!!! The ‘uprooting” effect leads to bouts of lethargy, melancholy, boredom, restlessness, yearning…. not a very nice place to be, where your companion often is the nearest bag of salty potato chips or that sinful bar of chocolate… cortisol be damned!!!! Over a period of time though, things fall into place and a semblance of normality sets in. The inherent human resilience helps you pick up the threads of your life, and you are once again rearing to emerge out of the desperation: stronger, more stable and full of optimism. That’s when a little no-questions-asked kind-of support is very welcome, and mine just came in the form of the 100-day challenge. Eminently do-able and well thought out.

Goes rather nicely with my current yoga and diet programme, that aims to bring my life back on the fitness track at a cushy pace. No fits and starts. No unreasonable demands. No fretting over the weighing scale. It’s only about feeling good in your skin: mentally, physically and spiritually. Weekly yoga sessions take care of most of it, unless you are the fretting species looking at instant gratification. Additionally, a reasonable control on “what you eat” and “when you eat it” work wonders. Now add to this the week#1 schedule of the 100-day challenge and you have the perfect recipe for success!!!

So we started our day (I say “we” coz I have managed to rope in my husband as well…major victory!!!) … typically with 2 glasses of warm water with a squeeze of lime in it. A thing we do anyways. No syrupy milk tea early in the morning!!! This was followed by the 30-minute exercise…. plenty of water (comes naturally when the temperature hits 42)….a filling  breakfast of idli-sambar-coconut chutney. DELICIOUS!!!!…. The idlis, mind you, made of brown rice, sooji, green mung and a bit of urad dal….. the sambar (a dal-veg stew) was laden with pumpkin, tomatoes and shallots, in a mix of arhar-masoor dals. The coconut chutney made with fresh coconut in roasted peanuts and pro-biotic yogurt flavoured with fresh curry leaves. Kick-started our day. The other drinks along the way included: milk…lemonade sweetened with organic honey…rooh afzah (I love it)…. orange juice…clear mixed veg soup… herbal mint tea… and a lunch of ragi-atta roties, okra veg, karela and raita. For dinner, I am thinking of a salad… my take on the earthy jhaal-moori from Calcutta… that combines finely chopped cucumber/tomatoes/onion/boiled potatoes with roasted soyabeans, roasted peanuts and some puffed rice. This mix is topped with loads of fresh chopped coriander, lots of lime juice, some mint-imli chutney…swirled around… sprinkled with mouth watering chaat masala, chilli flakes and some bhujia for the crunch. To my bowl I will be adding my favourite: a teaspoon of kachchi ghani mustard oil: DIVINE!!!!

Seems too easy till now, however, the real challenge today for me is to resist eating anything post dinner…. as we will be watching a late night flick at the theatre… Usually I have a Pavlovian tendency to munch something, sometimes without even thinking if I really need it. As I write I feel quite determined. And just coz I have this very non-invasive 100-day challenge draft before me I feel positively prodded to perform. YESSSS.. I feel good already… hope to keep it up… time to stop waiting for things to happen… but to go out and make them happen!!!!

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