Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sugarfree, rich chocolate brownie and 'resistible temptations'

The sight of sumptuous 'snacks' on the evening flight was simply irresistible. A large chocolate brownie in a layer of warm-and-melting rich chocolate sauce, potato cutlet with curried paneer, a nice and fresh vegetable sandwich and some freshly made hot tea! What else does one need after a tiring day mostly spent travelling. I was hungry too; I found the snacks to be great accompaniments with the fun movie I was watching. 

After finishing the sandwich and the cutlet I wondered whether I should really go for the brownie - couldn't resist and gave in. All the same, a thought about the unwanted calories was making me feel slightly guilty now that I recently started on a fitness plan, on a serious note. As if this was not enough, my co-passenger who seemed to enjoy his snack suddenly realized he should cut down on sugar. 

He called the flight attendants and asked for some Sugarfree in his coffee. I found it amusing. I couldn't understand this not-so-elderly-gentleman insisting on Sugarfree while he was going easy on the chocolate brownie. I wondered how a little bit of sugarless coffee would help him balance the rich sugary high-caloried brownie, and cut down the calories if it's got to do with that! Is it like being penny-wise-pounds-foolish in weight loss jargon, I wondered! 

Well, to tell you the truth, I really don't bother about serious exercising, fitness regimes, diet plans or any of that kind of stuff - not because I get carried away by typical 'compliments' on my Facebook pictures, but ...either I'm too lazy to join a gym or it's simply something that doesn't get prioritized. Knowing well that this may not be the way to go as you add years to your life - occasionally I get into a little bit of Yoga and some stretching to go along with it. Though I might have 'looked the same after years' to my old friends but slowly and gradually the flab and the excess fat does get noticed and some 'symptoms' that demand some quick attention. Inevitable thing it is! Thus began my 'self-induction' program on topics like calories, cardio, abs, cross trainers, treadmills and so on.

Thanks to our sedentary life style and the lack of discipline, fitness topics are always hotly discussed and debated. It is so true to read ' sitting is the new smoking of our generation...' or celebrity-inspired bestsellers like 'Don't lose your mind lose your weight' and the plethora of TV shows on yoga, diet and fitness equipment. In fact, everybody seems to have an opinion on what works and what to eat. And, those slimming saloons that advertise with 'before-and-after' pictures must be contributing vastly to an industry that works mostly on its own terms and conditions! The commoditized weight-loss packages come with several conditions for lasting results - this is something I learnt interacting with my friends who enrolled for such programs. So how does one control weight by not getting caught in the commercial aspects and calories-based arithmetics? Is controlling weight the same as feeling fit? The former is about getting physical fit and the latter is more about feeling happy, confident, enthusiastic, energetic  etc  etc to do things, right?  

So, are there some things called ‘resistible temptations’?  Sounds paradoxical, doesn’t it? I’m sure there are whole lot of things that can be resisted. I had so many of them in front of me, when I was thinking about various options to stay fit. The feeling of ‘let-me-sleep-a-little-more’ after snoozing the alarm could be one of them. Or, simply keep procrastinating and enjoy the feeling that I'll do it some day, when time comes.  Or, let-me- skip-the –exercise-today-and –work-out-extra tomorrow’ could be another. Or, let me spend the whole day in front of the TV munching some snacks and go for a long walk tomorrow ! Or, let me not bother about what the physician has suggested and do my own things till something serious happens ! Or, Wait, wait, I'm not one of those who needs physical exercise, I used to be an athlete in my college’! Or, one last time today – will-enjoy-the-meal- and from tomorrow miss my meals to compensate. Or, a sudden inspiration to burn calories by rigorous training followed by complete inactivity. Or, enrolling in a hugely demanding fitness program and not following it up well – regretting it was money and not calories that got burnt! Or, keep adding to your wardrobe to accommodate the changing waistline.  Or, feel happy that you are a vegetarian and you’ll not have problems. Or... well, there could be so many more!

For me, it was like 'just do it', because too much of thinking is not good for health! In one of those moments when you get emotional about 'if I don't care about my health and fitness who else will' - I told myself that I'll work out in the way that suits me without denying  myself the pleasures of simple veggie food.

Given a choice I'd love to eat whatever I like without thinking or caring a bit for how many calories it has or how it adds to weight gain. A couple of years back I purchased the book "Don't lose your mind, lose your weight" more because it was available for half the price on a sale at Landmark. It was a latent desire perhaps...I was secretly longing to know what this size zero diet is all about! Now that I had bought the book, I skimmed through some pages and found some tips useful. For example, the author insisted on never having tea or coffee, in empty stomach first thing in the morning. I knew many people prefer to have their morning tea with biscuits or cookies. But I somehow never liked that combination. It would simply ruin the taste of the first tea of the day. I found my solution and it helps when you need to do lot of work in the morning. This is as far as diet is concerned. And what about physical activity, that burning-the-calories- type of stuff? For that too, I made a sound decision. And going ahead I feel I'll not think too much about how many calories the brownie will add and simply eat!

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