I hate getting onto weighing scales. Especially if it isn’t in the safety of my own private space, and which is why I love hotels. Their unfailing effort to hide the scales deep under the bed (where we can’t find them or don’t bother to look) or in the bathroom, away from prying eyes.
But weighing scales are not my only problem. I also love food. Good food. And often, after finishing a meal that could have easily fed half the population of South Sudan, I have, tried to wish the calories away. And that’s not all, I hate exercising, and I mean with a vengeance. If there is anything in this world I truly detest (only after Mathematics) is going to the gym (my macbook does not even recognize the word ‘gymming’!). And I do have valid reasons for this hatred. First, I never get the results I am looking for. Secondly, I never get any time alone anyway. I feel as if I am constantly under a giant magnifying glass, incessantly being marked, labelled and judged.
Despite all of that, every night I wish for a ‘carb fairy’ to take the excess pounds off and I wake up a slenderer version of myself. On one such morning, I came across the mother of all ‘carb fairies’ showing me the most effective way to exercise in the privacy of my home.
My very own trainer-cum-fitness guru-cum-diet expert-cum-motivator... all rolled into one was calling out to me from Instagram. Before you picture me losing my mind over a hunk, drooling, let me burst your bubble. I am talking about trainers from the digital world. A fitness app! So, there would be no judgments, only discussions? There would be calorie charts without a lopsided smirk? And there would be no perennially-running-late-for-training-sessions, only me-time? If you’re skeptical right now, I can understand but wait till the end.
These apps let me have my cake and eat it too. (Too many food references? I know but it can’t be helped.) The first one that I used was Trainerize, a fitness app that connects me with my trainer. I filled up exhaustive forms about my diet, level of fitness, exercise preference, sleep patterns and motivations. 24 hours later, I got an extensive list of things I need to take care of, series of exercise routines that I can follow (with videos) and a diet chart for my body type. So, every time I start exercising, all I need to do is hit the check-in button and my trainer (sitting or training in Bangalore) can keep a check. At the end of the day or week, a pie chart and bar graph tells me about my progress. The other app I use is My Fitness Pal. It is my daily log for everything I eat or drink. It might sound obsessive, but it works (and become less of a chore). My trainer, attached to this app too, can see and suggest if I need to increase or decrease the intake of carbs, fats or protein. It’s been six weeks since I started. We’re four kilograms lesser... and counting.
So, for all those like me who can’t stand gym or being scrutinised in public, don’t despair, because there are saviours out there for us in the digital world. Just find them.
Now, you might like to ask me why I take so much pain, every single day to stay the way I want to? Whatever happened to being happy in your skin and all that rhetoric? I don’t do this because a few friends love to crack ‘weight’ jokes at me. I don’t do this because of a former colleague’s astonishment at my nonchalant attitude towards fitting into a medium-sized shirt. And I don’t do this for those acquaintances never missing a chance to poke their finger into my waist to remind me of my curves.
I do this for me. For my happiness. Period.
Without sounding too profound, I want to reiterate that this effort is for my older self… my 30s body that wants to pretend it’s in its 20s. I am doing this for my desire to stay fit and be as agile as I picture myself to be. It is to keep myself motivated, to rock that little black dress that I bought five years ago. Moreover, exercising regularly releases endorphins in our blood stream that keeps stress in check, and serotonin and dopamine make us happier.
A recent study claimed that India is the second laziest country in the world, and I clearly don’t want to be a part of that herd.