Hey someone called to wish Happy Birthday! What happened next?

Three friends were chatting and laughing at a suburban mall on a Saturday evening. Next to them was a girl smiling and enjoying her husband and his friend’s talks, memories and banter. A quick meeting turned into 3 hrs of fun as night fell by and it was time to head home. This memorable evening was thanks to one phone call…

It was usual birthday morning with wishes from some family and friends. Amidst receiving birthday messages and managing work I noticed one name flashing on my phone. It was a call from one of my university friend I had not met since eons… if, I was right at least a decade. As I received the call he said, “Faceboook reminded that it’s your birthday. Thought instead of saying HBD on your wall, I will call and wish you.” What followed was a conversation like old times, with promise to meet on the weekend along with another friend.

Retro Birthday Card
Sheer joy of Personal Birthday Wishes is like eating an ice-cream !

A little later, another friend called to wish me. More than a decade back, we came to know each other as industry colleagues. The friendship grew over years from calls, to Orkut, Facebook and occasional messages on WhatsApp but we haven’t met for many years. She said, “I have decided to call and wish people on their birthdays. We generally message or wish on social media and then no one talks to each other.” We promised to meet with a set deadline… which we did not meet.

Both these calls made me think. When was the last time I called a colleague / friend / acquaintance to wish Happy Birthday? Have we all become so caged to social media? There have been times I have decided not to wish someone on Faceboook, instead call. Day turns into evening, it’s time to head back from work and the exhausted mind remembers the forgotten wish.

These thoughts were lingering on my mind when I got another phone call. This time it was a colleague I haven’t spoken to for long. Somewhere back of mind I have been thinking of her but did not connect. Here she was talking to me on the phone, taking the opportunity to wish Happy Birthday!

These phone calls truly made my birthday. Felt blessed to have such relationships in a world which is far more connected, yet disconnected. I was cherishing this Birthday gift for next couple of days, sharing the joy with some friends. My phone buzzed again on an early Saturday morning. “Are you still sleeping?   We are meeting today evening, all three of us,” it was the same friend calling to confirm our plan.

In a typical Mumbai style, after some changes, we finally landed at a mall in the evening. Window shopping, chatter, old memories, food & coupled with drive in friend’s new car. An evening spent together with friends I had not met for 10 years…thanks to one phone call.

Breaking the psychological barrier of fitness

Turning point was the shift in attitude to start enjoying the process

As a child I was thin. Weight gain started towards my teens. What followed was a constant habbit of answering questions related to my weight, listening to tips on right exercise, ‘friendly’ guidance and special attention to me because I was overweight etc. Over the years I tried different forms of exercise – walking, yoga, joining gym, alternate forms of exercise, avoiding outside food. Some close family and friends tried their best to motivate me to exercise seriously, suggesting to join, help, train, whatever. The motivation was not enough for me to take that plunge one more time. Perhaps, because my previous efforts had not shown any results.

But the wheels were changing within. My friend Suvarna and brother Abhishek adopted a healthy lifestyle for different reasons. Their dialogue and persistence continued in different ways. Meanwhile I was introduced to Shibani Gharat the runner. I always knew her as a journalist. Following her Instagram feed was subconsciously impacting my attitude towards exercise. Some other things were making me think of health goals. At this time another friend Yash and his wife Amruta convinced me to join their new venture Slimpossible. This was the true test of my intention to take that big leap.

Joining this wellness programme was test of my determination to make my health my priority. My family wondered why travel to Thane on Sundays when there are so many options available in Dadar. That one month actually helped to break that psychological barrier and bring joyfulness in this exercise. The four weeks of understanding how to strengthen our fitness goal and control our mind was the next step towards staying healthy, not just weight loss. In doing so I was also improving my culinary skills as we were introduced to simple healthy recipes. That month was a big shift from looking at weight loss as an obligation to enjoying it.

I began eating healthy, restarted my walks, woke up early for 20 mins of exercise, and manage other duties and responsibilities to accommodate exercise. For the first time I was complimented for weight loss, glowing skin, looking toned, etc. The days were more energetic and further strengthened my health goals. This week I complete a month of exercising at a new fitness center. What’s more gratifying that I haven’t missed the session once because of lack of motivation. This journey will become more beautiful with consistency. All set to conquer that too!

Inspire me with your stories of breaking psychological barriers !