Ayn Rand

 

20s is an impressionable age. You are figuring out not only yourself, but the world around you and a lot of what you are is a mixture of the influences on you in this age. The biggest influence I had at that age was of writer Ayn Rand.

Her most famous work is The FountainHead, a work of fiction chronicling the life and struggles of Howard Roark, a great architect. Ayn Rand is a believer of the philosophy known as ”Óbjectivism” and through Howard Roark, she tries to convey the principles of Objectivism and its day to day application. It is a principle where a human being is considered the best creation and the core of the book lies in a belief that a man should center everything around his own self, and he should be self motivated, self sufficient and self driven.

There are several interesting characters throughout the book, namely Toohey, Dominique, Guy Francon and Peter. They represent the opposing philosophies of collectivism as opposed to Roark’s objectivism. At the impressionable age of 22 I fell in love with Roark’s character. It was anti-system, rebellious, confident and supremely attractive in a movie hero way.

Now when I am over 30, married and have a family and seen more of life, this book seems like a radical idea that is impractical to achieve as a human cannot be the way Roark has been pictured in this boo. A (wo)man lives in a society and we are interconnected to each other in several different threads and saying I will go at it alone will just be what it is – “pompous”. While some concepts about integrity, self reliance, excellence are great, the core of the book is not convincing anymore. I wonder how my life would have been had I not read this book at all at that age.

So have you read a book that has changed its meaning for you over the years? Do let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Advice

If you ask what are generally humans and especially Indians very good at..? I would say Free Advice :). So, what does one do when they have a lost a lot of weight and are being complimented quite frequently about how they are looking better and better? They give free advice. So this is what this post is going to be all about. Free advice on how to lose weight.

As I had confessed in this post and later updated in this post, I had started the fitness thing back then. There are no numbers in either of these posts, but here it goes – At my heaviest, I weighed 77.6 Kg and I have come down to 62 Kg. That is around 15 Kilograms lost! More importantly, I feel much better about myself and am able to live life with a spring in my step 🙂 15 Kilograms might not be a big deal to a lot of people, but I did this with a full time job and a small kid, with a frequent social calender to add and I am darn proud of it!! A lot of people ask me .. What do you do? You look so nice.. Let me tell you there is no ‘one way’ to lose weight. Its the combination of multiple things and a will to go on even when the results are slow that will give you the results. Here are some of the things that worked for me.  Besides, all of us know things that are written here, just that we need some constant reminders. Is it not? Everything written here might not work for you, but try a couple of them and see how it goes:

  • Cut back on your portion size: Weight loss at the highest level, is simple math. The calories consumed should be closer to calories burnt or they get stored as fat. So, if you have to lose some fat, you should consume lesser calories so that the body starts using up some of the fat previously stored in the body. Cut back on the portion size gradually, so that you do not feel a dip in your energy. Typically, if you are eating 3 rotis for dinner, start off by eating 2.5 rotis for a week and then reduce it further. Be sure to find out the difference between controlling portion size and starving. And do not skip any meals. This will have a reverse effect where your metabolism will go down drastically.
  • Drink lots of Water: Drinking lots of water has a lot of benefits, but for me the most important thing is that it makes me feel full. When you feel full, you will go slow on the binge eating. Water is also supposed to help increase metabolism and do a lot of other wonderful things. Most importantly, it is zeRo calories. Win – win
  • Exercise at least 20 minutes: Aarghh.. Not the dreaded E word you say? But Exercise is “the way” to have a healthy body and keep it too . Weight loss and fitness work really well, only when it is achieved through a combination of healthy diet and exercise. Exercise is known not only to keep the body healthy, but it also keeps the brain active and sharp. If you are reading and planning to follow some of my pointers, most likely you are some one who is not into exercise already. The tip for getting the exercise  habit is to start off. Do not spend too much on the shoes or the gear. You can do that later. If you do not have the time for exercise, just start off by doing five minutes of stretches or spot jogging. Come on! Who does not have five minutes? Alright, you do not have five minutes? Make it. How? Five minutes less of TV/Facebook/Sleeping, Mobile games etc etc. You get the hint. Dont You? Come on. Get Moving.
  • Eat fruits and veggies: When I started out to lose weight, I was not eating too many fruits and vegetables. So to make up for that I started having fruits on Tuesdays for both breakfast and lunch. Dinner would be some light rotis and absolutely no rice. You may not have to do something so drastic, but the idea is to supplement the carbohydratess like rice and rotis, with vitamins and minerals in the Fruits and Veggies(FVs). You can substitute a part of your meal with some salad. For Example, you could cut down from 3 to 4 rotis to 2 rotis and a veggie salad or a big banana. This will do wonders to your overall health. Trying different FVs is also very important, as they have different components which are good for our general well being
  • Weigh yourselves often: I weigh myself almost every morning after I pee. It also helps if you track it. There are easy tools online to track it or you could just jot it down in a notebook. You may say weighing often may be a big deterrent, if you are not seeing too much results. I would say, it would be a great reminder. It helps us remember the personal goals that we have set ourselves on and motivates us to do better. Even if you dont weigh yourself as frequently as every morning, do it at least once in every 2 days. If you are over eating, your weight is a very good indicator, which will help you keep those stray calories in check subconsciously.
  • Keep the stray calories in check: This is one of the most important disciplines to learn for some one who is trying to lose weight. What are these so called “stray calories” you ask? I say, they are the calories we consume, when we are not actually feeling hungry. We walk by the kitchen counter and pop in a cookie. We open the refrigerator, and in goes a candy. A friend has got some sweets. We take just half, because we are on a diet and then through day many more halves go in, thinking “its only a small piece, wont make much of a difference”. Let me tell you my friend, every calorie counts. Every calorie you avoid, is a point earned towards better health. If you look at some of the calorie charts, you would see some of the desserts are close to 1000 calories and how much does walking briskly for 30 minutes burn? 100 – 200 calories, based on your speed. The point I am trying to make here is if you avoid the additional calories, you would have avoided that much hard work. And the hard work that you actually do, will be used to burn the fat that is already stored in your body. So keep those stray calories away! Learn to say NO, first to yourself and then to others.

These  are some of the things that worked for me.  Do try them out and let me know what worked for you 🙂

Keep them burning !!!

When the light is diminished…

This was in my drafts for almost ages.. I am publishing this as is because my Grandpa is no more and the conclusion for this does not matter to me any more.. at least in his case.. Taata, wherever you are, I sincerely hope you rest in peace and keep the smile on 🙂

 

The original draft:

My husband is not a movie person… n I am one.. so after marriage my theater visits have gone down drastically (it hurts when u have to plan as well as pay for those expensive tickets :P).. The consequence of this is that I am always on the lookout for movies whenever they are on tv.. On a week day last week while switching the channels i watched Guzaarish being aired on one of the channels.. having heard some rave reviews i started watching the movie from somewhere in-between.. i heard Ethan pleading Euthanasia..his mom, his doctor and his nurse also thinking he should die, rather than suffering the way he did. I could not watch the movie till the end as it was very late in the night already and I had to get to work the next day. I could not take a stand on the topic too.. I went to bed with euthanasia in my mind… I got up and started getting ready to go office when I saw my grandpa dozing off on our couch on the drawing hall and the previous night’s movie and thoughts came back to me with a dull shock.. Now you might be wondering what is the connection between Grandpa and Guzaarish.. So here goes the details- My grandpa, 78 years old is suffering from a very low degree of Alzheimer’s disease. He has very little control over his body and his movements and his memory is very weak. He does not have control over his urine and bowel movements and ends up urinating or defecating before he actually reaches the WC. He has a horde of other small problems like forgetting the day of the week, time of the day and other stuff. Sometimes he’s found bathing at 3 AM in the midnight or asking for dinner just after he’s finished it.

Senior Software engineer


This was a post I had typed ages ago…. I have not altered it one bit.. and left it as is in the end.. 🙂


Yes.. thats me.. i got promoted.. it was a thursday afternoon..June 28th to be precise.. from almost one week.. the gossips about the impending promotions were doing the rounds.. i was tipped to be one of the people to be promoted.. but stupid pratyush dissapointed my hopes saying that Ajay had told him that there was no list from HMI this time.. A list is nothing but the recommendation of the manager given to the HR that these ppl deserve promotions.. and yes coming back to the thursday afternoon.. ajay came to the desk and called me.. dont even know wat he said exactly.. as I was listening to music.. Ravichandran Hits to be precise again.. and then he went to the other cubicles.. when i took out my ear phones and stood up i saw raghava, ashoke and charith getting up… then i think i saw akki getting up as well.. When i saw the combination of the ppl.. i knew i was promoted.. i wanted to jump.. yes.. really.. now in the hindsight it does not seem really big.. but at that moment it was.. we all including raghs and siva R went to a cabin .. i guess the second one from our test environment.. and ajay said we were all performing very badly and that was the reason he summoned all of us.. we all dint say nething.. i made a staright face trying to hide my obvious joy.. n ashoke started smiling.. ajay asked “y r u smiling ashok?” ashoke said “i am finding it funny”.. raghava said if we have performed badly we get immediate feedback from the leads.. ajay said yes leads do give feedback.. but when it goes below a certain level, thats where i step in” .. n i said ” bad is certainly not the comment i wud expect”.. then he smiled and said “all of you have been promoted” .. i was the only woman in the room .. n yes i was beaming.. :).. aja y said some nice things about all of us.. he praised

Bye bye 2012

2012.. The year where everything was supposed to end.. Is finally coming to an end and except for the year nothing much has ended.. So here are a few things I would like to jot down..

Biggest biggest thing is that my son turned a year and is growing up really fast. He can say small words, understands what we say and is a happy young thing. And very cute too.. Don’t believe me?? See for yourselves 🙂

Arch_Mag

Mamma.. I’m not cute!!

We bought a brand new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga VDI model  in July, which is amazing. This has changed how my hubby and I look at travel. This led to the other big thing which is that I traveled out of Bangalore, on a vacation to Wayanad with hubby after a really long time. This is a big deal for me because being a travel bug, not travelling was one of the things that were bringing me down big time. We enjoyed the travel so much that we have made a commitment to travel again as soon as possible. This time full family though..

Daddy got retired. But not much of a difference, because he has taken up some or the other teaching assignments and is as busy as ever. He is going to be busier next year when he will join the staff of

ACS college which is on Mysore road and will involve a certain amount of travel.

The best thing of this year is probably the way my personal life is going. From roller coaster of anger and love it is moving towards a smooth sailing phase of understanding and acceptance. Where the shouts are lesser and whispers are more. I am not going to say more here. It might get jinxed:).

Happy new year all of you.[Or Me- The writer and the sole reader of this blog ;)]

May you have great health and lots of happiness in the coming year

Update..

Update on this post:

I have been walking pretty regularly except for the week that I stayed at my parent’s house. During that time I played badminton with my li’l cousin Ananya a couple of times. So the fitness drive is on, not in the top gear though, but definitely on.

So, why is it such a big deal, you ask. It is a big deal for me because i have a history of NOT sticking on to any habit, any “GOOD” habit. Journal writing, dieting, exercising and a lot of other things that I have tried have fallen off my daily schedule after a week or two. Sustaining a habit for a month is a big achievement in itself and I am very proud of it. I have to give the credit for this to my internet Guru Leo of Zen Habits. In one of his posts he says “Just put those shoes on and walk out of the house” when talking about creating an exercise habit. I just followed this blindly and I am very very happy that I did.

Also, I am beginning to see the benefits of exercise, my weight saw a downward trend after a really really long time and that itself is a big motivation for me to carry on. So, lets c how it goes..

Wait [Weigh?? :)] n Watch … 🙂

Confessions..

Out with it:

Yes, I am overweight obese and my body needs an overhaul, a major overhaul.

Now that I have confessed, let me begin from the beginning. I have been overweight for a long time now. But not any more. Now I am obese 😛 . i delivered my beautiful handsome boy last year and gained a lot of post natum kilos. I could have exercised when I was on leave and with my baby, but my laziness got the better of me. Continuous consumption of food without any exercise kept piling the kilos on my body and I had come to a stage where my body creaked with pain at the slightest possible exertion. It came to a do or “cry” stage. Even simple things like sitting cross legged, or walking a stretch became very tiring or almost impossible. Thats when the realization dawned on me that I had to do something and NOW.

The problem with me is that I am very self conscious(don’t ask me who is not).. I was such a bad case that I would not get up and go to pee if my parents were around. While I became comfortable with getting up and going to the rest room when others realized what I was doing, accepting the fact that I was fat and I needed to do something about it in front of my family(read hubby and in-laws) was very difficult. But then, when things got desperate, I grew up and discussed my health issue with them.

Fast forward to the beginning of this month. For the few days of the week, i did Yoga. What magic! Just coupla days of doing this for about 20 minutes made me feel so much better that I have made a life long commitment to Fitness, in whatever way I can. By walking for 5 mins if not 50, by cycling, by yoga. This is just the beginning and a fit “ME” is a dream , whose reality is miles and miles away, but this time I am ready. Ready to be criticized, ridiculed because I dont do things regularly. Ready to go on, even if the results are slow, ready to do it for no one else but me. I have already faltered, missed doing yoga couple of days. Went walking y’day, but did not go today. But this time I will make it. Because I know my weaknesses and am ready to overcome them. And most importantly, I am going to be easy on myself.

So here’s the deal. I will come back in a week or 10 days and I will update on the progress, not on weight change, but about how regularly I am able to do the “Fitness things” and how is it making me feel.

That’s a promise!