E – Exercise #AtoZChallenge

  • What have you done?
  • Your clothes are fitting loose now
  • You have lost weight
  • Are you dieting?

These are the common comments I hear from people I meet. Feels little weird for a person who is used to the other extreme comments – being called fatty, advised on how weight control is important, judging the food I eat because of my weight.. the best answer I developed for this was to Smile.

 Like every other obese or overweight person, I always thought of getting fit, exercising, following diet but could never do it. Having read blogs, social media posts of the struggles, the common factor for many like me was motivation and to stay motivation.

A simple ‘statement like be careful while standing on the chair /table, it will break’ is enough to lower your confidence. What is the best way to start? Gym, yoga, cross fit, walking, swimming, so many options and social advice we get…

For me, the shift happened in my mind – When I broke the psychological block of fitness. Most importantly when I got the right encouragement; positive encouragement. I started seeing some visible results; I slowly started believing that I can be fit.

Yet again there was an obstacle. Traffic, travel became an issue to manage to reach fitness center on time. One day of bunking the workout session becomes a bad example to take it lightly. Finally I again stopped exercising. But in this phase my mind had become stronger to pursue exercise whatever the case.

In next few months I found another fitness center. This time I again received the required encouragement. And this was the second shift in my thinking.  I met an encouraging trainer, patiently listening to me and my body. He shattered another psychological block –

“Weight Loss is not important, You being Fit is more important” 

With this he never allowed me to go near the weighing machine. He says , “the day people start commenting and noticing change in you, the results will be seen.” Playfully I started addressing him as a doctor and not a trainer. Every day he would ask if there is any body pain, few days later he will try to understand what difference I am noticing. I realized this was his way of studying if the workout is helping me. He helped me release the conscious and subconscious pressure of losing weight.

Most importantly I started enjoying workouts. Looked forward to my gym sessions, changed my other priorities, tried to accommodate my exercise more meaningfully in my daily routine.  I have surprised myself my hitting the gym at 10 pm.. even if it is for half an hour.  Started becoming restless if I missed it for more than 3-4 days..

4 months down I have not lost much weight, maintain low carb diet becomes difficult. The biggest change has been my attitude and perspective of looking at fitness. That’s when the external comments just become a part of this process.. not something to be bogged down with. Today also I Smile at the comments, but with a different attitude & I’m loving it !

How have you overcome psychological blocks?

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 !