General ramblings

Scary Shit

There’s something extremely disturbing about this article I came across:

The business management student says his body ballooned after he came to the U.S. from his native Dominican Republic at the age 7.

“I was a normal, active kid who used to run and play outdoors in the tropical climate,” he recalls. “When we moved into a small apartment where it was cold, I stayed inside and didn’t get any exercise.

I can associate with this to quite an extent. I never had weight issues while I was in India. I’ve been fighting a losing battle ever since I came to the US, 3.5 years ago. The food here is way too “rich” and has a way of showing up around your waistline. I’ve been shamelessly loading up pounds. There is only one way of going about losing all this flab: Eat responsibly. Count your calories. Remain active.

People say things like “Oh it’s all that chicken!”. Well Hello! I don’t eat meat. Yet I’ve managed to put on weight because of pizza, pasta, ice cream, “salad”, Mexican food, french fries, beer (yes!) and god knows what else.

I usually never ever make New Year Resolutions because I don’t let the calendar dictate my activities. If I want to do something, I do it anyway! If I don’t want to do it, I won’t. The addition of another year is no reason to bring about a change in my way of living. Most of the times, we take up resolutions which are not only un-Godly but also “not doable” if we were to look at our past records. So, why let yourself down a couple of months down the lane?

However, it becomes very important for me to promise myself to make a life style change now:

1. Get off my lazy ass and start cooking everyday.

2. Because of #1, it should be easier to avoid take-outs/retaurant food/extra calories.

3. Stick to #1 and #2 and make use of the gym membership that I’ve been religiously paying for.

4. As a result of 1,2 and 3, lose 2 pounds a month.

5. Not take festivals as a reason to splurge.

6. Eat out only ONCE a week.

7. Remind my co-workers of #6 and not give into any whinings and turning down invitations to visit a restaurant for lunch during office hours. Oh well, this is very difficult. Most of the times, when I say “No!” (believe me, I’ve tried so many times), they’ll say things like “OK, don’t be a kanjoos” or “Eat a salad!” or “Oh come on! Just one day. Skip your dinner.” or “Burn it off in the gym”.

8. Drink not more than 1-2 Bud Light in a pub. No oily side dishes, please.

9. Print this list and stick it up everywhere- on the fridge, near my bedstand and in my office cube.

That’s all. No snarky comments please. πŸ˜›

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27 thoughts on “Scary Shit

  1. Hey, happy new year!

    Looks to me that your resolutions are only about avoiding the binge an dlosing pounds. Easier said than done, I know. But you will, determined girl that you are! πŸ™‚

  2. Ruhi:

    Interesting observations. Did you know that Pima Indians, otherwise a lean group of people (in Mexico at least and in Arizona until the 1950s), became fat after the 1950s? The explanation lies in white carbs, sugar and starch laden foods prevalent in the USA (look at the list “pizza, pasta, ice cream, β€œsalad”, Mexican food, french fries, beer (yes!) and god knows what else”, and you will see what I mean). The case is often used to demonstrate the gene-environment interaction that causes weight gain and other health related issues.

    So you are along the right track. But if you are beginning to gain weight now, I daresay it may be due to change in age also. When you were in India, you were a teen, now you are a young woman πŸ™‚ Our bodies slow down while our incomes go up, as does our access to richer foods.

    It is not fashionable in academia or in clinical settings to tell people worried (or worse, not worried) about their weight gain, to practise a lot of “self control”. But I know from experience (I am the same weight now as I was 15 years ago) that the key lies in it, if you do not suffer from any genetic maladies or hormonal or other pathologies.

    When I was in the US to do my field research, I photographed a lot of people and their food. My photos startlingly showed me something I already knew – most (most, not all) thin people eat less – smaller portions, not unhealthy foods, and even their choice of alcohol may not be beer.

    Go for it! Your steps are right on the button. Perhaps writing down what you eat – and drink – accurately in a diary will help you assess caloric intake more closely. You will also recognise triggers for eating and the not-good things making their way to you.

    See, no snark but all good wishes!

  3. Sharon says:

    Eating out is a challenge, which is why I avoid it if possible. Unless it’s a restaurant that lists the Weight Watcher Points on the menu! I think you’re on the right track by brown-bagging it for lunch and cooking at home for dinner. Best of luck to you!

  4. When I started reading I thought here’s a person who doesn’t make new year resolutions, just like me. She does things and makes resolutions whenever there is a need to and then..bang! I read your resolutions. I guess the new year has affected you huh. Well anyway you had to make these resolutions sometime!
    But I think cooking is the only way to avoid the calories. Too many hidden calories in outside food and I think the kind of taste enhancers they put into food also make us addicted to outside food. In marathi we say, chatak lagte.

  5. Dev says:

    Oh Ruhi, this is my favorite topic. My female coworkers have now started accusing me of being so obsessed about counting calories..they say even more than most women.lol
    But, you know what..believe me, it matters..most of the times, unless one has some medical problem, there is not much of a rocket science behind keeping weight in control…if you consume less calories, along with eating at right times, you are bound to lose weight.
    I lost almost 8-9 pounds in the last 4 months just by eating carefully..I strive to know exactly the number of calories Iam consuming everytime I eat/drink something.
    I have another 7-8 pounds to shed before I achieve my ideal weight and now Iam complementing my less eating with some exercise because closer you get to your ideal weight, more effort you have to make to reach there..infact, I was even thinking of doing a post on my weight loss story..
    You are on the right track..just watch everything you eat and dont listen to your co workers and friends..let them make fun of you or whatever..it’s you not they who needs to lose weight..They will always have an invitation to eat out and will always come up with, ‘oh come on..eating out one day wont make you fat’..And, very importantly, cook at home and not eat out more than once in a week..You dont need to cook everyday..I cook once a week and freeze my meals in small packets. And, I wish I was vegeterian like you..that makes losing weight even more easier..
    I dont know if you ever checked, but I put a small section on this on my blog some months back..it has some links which you might find useful.
    http://lallopallo.wordpress.com/health-and-body/

    Good luck and come back with your success story in few months. πŸ™‚

  6. From my experience the beauty of losing excess weight is that it gives you a few months where you can eat whatever you want and not worry about the weight. Once you regain those pounds as a result, you lose them again, and the cycle continues.

    It keeps life so very interesting!

    Good luck with your plans, and happy new year πŸ™‚

  7. I do understand the epidemic here in US! Every take out is laden with carbs, carbs and more carbs! πŸ˜€ Cooking would tremendously help as you are in control of the ingredients and dietary values. All the best, keep us posted with your progress, I know you can do it! Happy 2009 to you and your loved ones πŸ™‚

  8. Ruhi:

    The Centre for Science in the Public Interest has published ‘Restaurant Confidential’ which you may find useful (so you do not have to shun your social life altogether; just know what NOT to order). Their Director gave me a signed copy when I interviewed him but it was very US centric so I left it with my host friend. The HHS also publishes a rather unknown but very helpful guide to meal planning with perfect nutritional balance and low caloric load. I think it is downloadable as a PDF or can be ordered as hard copy.

    Good luck.

    AD:

    Worse than a steady slightly high body weight is weight cycling of the kind that you describe. It wreaks havoc on the body and its health effects are more undesirable than being slightly overweight. So alas, thumbs down to that one 😦

  9. 😦

    I am trying hard to put on some weight yaaaar
    I am too thin … you should post something about the food that you are going to stop eating, so that I can start eating them and put on weight πŸ˜‰

  10. When I shifted to Delhi, it took me just 3 months to gain all the 10 Kgs I had lost in Chennai after regular excercising for 7 months. 😦 I know, it hurts terribly. And it would be great if you can stick to your resolution. Don’t let it be a point of no return.
    Happy New Year!!! πŸ™‚

  11. Hahahhha so true! But in US I have heard u have calorie content written on each food item available.. that shud help keep calories in check… what say? πŸ™‚

  12. Good for you Ruhi – that you realized the food issue and are doing something to change it!! Reminds me of a conversation we had long time ago on Nita’s blog about food content/ingredients in the US. πŸ™‚

    While richness (in one sense) of food available in the US is a factor, you also realized the other factor – home-cooked food. In India, that’s a default for the most part, whereas here in the US, it’s not. Preparing food using fresh ingredients and having more of unprocessed/unrefined food does help.

    Good luck!

  13. Amrita says:

    Yeah, my freshman fifteen never got the memo that I was no longer a freshman. 😦
    And it’s absolutely not the chicken – most of the chicken you get around here is the breast piece which is as safe as houses to eat. but there’s the cheese on top of it and the mayo and the side order of fries and the root beer to wash it all down… dammit, now I’m hungry!

  14. do 10-15 ab crunches in the morning…and when u are having holidays wake up real late and have ur breakfast and lunch together as one meal….then again go back to sleep and wake up after the evening snacks time also…trust me this works….last one month i was living in a hostel with my frnds away from home…that one month itself made me lose quite weight…….

    • Yeah everything’s fine. πŸ™‚ Been quite busy lately. It’ll probably be this way until June. 😦 Hope all’s well at your end? Sorry haven’t read your blog since a long time.

  15. All’s well here too…have been equally busy so not much of blogging from my end either. It’s good to be busy yaar, considering the number of people loosing their jobs πŸ™‚ but have fun and dont burn yourself out…

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