I have starting trouble with most things. Even with the things I love, it takes me abnormally long to get going. But once I do begin, I’m a creature of habit. And in the event that I get addicted and/or really enjoy the activity at hand, I can get pretty obsessive and anal about being regular. The trouble with habits, for someone with starting trouble, is that when they suddenly get broken, it can put you right back where you started. Struggling to get going. And that’s what happened with working out last year.
It began with the ten day break in April last year when we took off on holiday. All that eating and lying around definitely made me lazy, lethargic and getting going was a harder task than I was willing to show. With some travel pretty much every month of the year, I was faced with many such breaks. The routine of working out everyday itself suffered. Add to it the bad eating when travelling, the irregular sleep and the trouble resuming exercise every time there was a break, and I ended the year not feeling physically as good as I wanted to.
In April I was at my fittest I’ve been in the last 3 years. I felt lean and ripped, energetic, light and it was lovely to wear almost anything I wanted to, without feeling like some part of me was squished into a piece of clothing it didn’t want to be in. April onwards, things went downhill, and every month that I travelled out saw me coming back to a struggle to get started again. With work really ramping up and taking up so much of my mental bandwidth, I’ve been a lazy, lazy cook – resorting to rice more often than is healthy. I’ve also slacked off on trying to cook healthy all the time, which meant lots of take out, and lots of comfort in unhealthy food. I became super disinterested in stocking up the kitchen with good stuff, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d actively bought and consumed fruit like I used to. Also, I developed unnatural (for me) love for desi sweets and found myself having them way more often (and often without occasion or reason!) than I am known to. I did a lot more deep-frying than I usually do, and took great case to ensure that my dessert-after-every-meal cravings were always satisfied.
All of this has really taken a toll. A body-fat analysis test yesterday confirmed my gut feeling. While it doesn’t really show in an alarming way on my frame on the outside, I have felt bulky and unfit for a while now, despite trying to be regular with exercise. But, what I wasn’t anticipating was just how far back these irregularities in routine have put me.
I’m almost right back to where I was in 2012. And that hit me like a hard blow to my gut. Because of the way I was already feeling, I hit the gym with a renewed promise to move more and get back on the bandwagon not just with regular exercise, but with trying to eat moderately again early this month. My friend (and fitness guide!) N always says 70% of the hard work in getting fit is done in the kitchen, and this is going to be the harder nut for me to crack — making healthy eating a regular feature and not the occasional indulgence.
It’s been three weeks of being regular again, I’m slowly beginning to feel like I’m back on the right track. I’ve moved back to hard weights after 8 months of doing a lot more cardio, body-weight training and kick-aerobics. I’m supplementing the weights with a kickboxing class that really kicks my butt three times a week. The other big change I’ve made is brought all my workouts forward to the start of day. There’s really nothing like beginning the day with some violence, or heavy weights. It really just sets the tone for my energy levels and everything else builds up from there.
Every other day, I still have a minor struggle getting myself to the gym, but I try and remind myself that once I’m there I’m in my zone and when I am done I feel like I can conquer the world. That feeling keeps me going and I have been able to brush aside thoughts of bunking with a lot more confidence. I love what the endorphins do for me, and I know that with all the crap I’ve been dealing with mentally, its the exercise that is definitely helping me stay afloat.
It’s always a little crushing to realise how easy it is to roll back to an unhealthy, unfit state of mind and being. Two years of hard work can be reversed in no time at all, and it makes me realise how precious every hour spent at the gym is. After standing on that machine yesterday, I’m determined to make every session count.
I’m feeling a lot better today, than I was on 1st January. And I’m putting it all down to the fact that I’m finally moving again.