So my weight loss attempt ain’t about to be pain-free.. people!!

Okay, so I decide to start my weight loss diet and walk plan and the very next day I get diagnosed with a herniated ( slipped ) disc injury in my back and the doctor advises 2 weeks of strict bed rest. Cute, isn’t it?

I had been having pain all along my right leg every time I turned in bed or got up from a lying down position, since the last two months. But me being me, I had been ignoring it- casually attributing it to a case of pulled muscle injury. I hoped it would get better over time but it just got worse in the last week or so. Accompanied also by severe back pain over the last weekend ( just when I was making those cute little plans of embarking upon my weight loss journey ). So I visited a doctor, he ordered an MRI and lo and behold- out came the dreaded diagnosis of a slipped disc injury. One look at the MRI and the doctor said ‘ This is very, very bad’. For the uninitiated,  a herniated disc refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (discs) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine. Sometimes called a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, a herniated disk occurs when some of the softer “jelly” pushes out through a tear in the tougher exterior.  He has prescribed strict bed rest, physiotherapy and has put me on a course of muscle relaxants and pain meds. And has warned me that if I do not take adequate rest, I will end up on his operating table sooner than I can imagine.

Pic 2

However, this is not my first diagnosis of a herniated disc. It is the second time that I have been formally diagnosed with this and probably the third or fourth time that it has actually happened. I have had severe back pain episodes after my first diagnosis, which was about 3.5 years back and I never went in for an MRI any of those other times when I suffered from debilitating back pain. But I am pretty sure that I had some slippy discs in my back all those other times as well when I just took rest at home and didn’t bother to go and see a doctor.

A recourse to surgery is something I totally want to avoid. And if I keep up with my noncore-strengthening exercises routine, I am bound to land up on an operating table under a surgeon’s disc removing scalpel sooner rather than later. Even though the doctors say that it is only a minor surgery ( Microdissectomy the darned thing is called ), the risks of spine surgery are far too frightening for me to ever be okay with going in for one.

So the update here is that I will still hold steadfast onto my decision of trying to lose weight as the way too many extra pounds on my spine aren’t helping anything either.  The only thing that will now need to change is my choice of exercise. I now intend to take up swimming instead of walking as the preferred exercise as swimming is known to be the best exercise for someone with a herniated disc. I will continue to be off carbs ( atleast the bad ones like flour, rice, sugar etc ) and will up my intake of Vitamin D3 supplements as well as a few other fancy ones that I had started taking a few months back.

I have also decided to work from home more often every week and have ordered a chair with lumbar support, a monitor to connect my laptop to, as well as a table, wireless keyboard and mouse. I will post a picture of my new workstation at home once I have set it up and will hope and pray that having a proper seating arrangement will eventually be beneficial for my back.

For now, I am getting back to bed. More updates and posts about my progress to follow later.

Starting out- the countdown from 90 to 65 kgs!

Two bright beautiful glasses of mango shake is what I started my day with today. I know, I know- this wasn’t part of the plan. But to offset the calories gained from those glasses, I monitored my eating super carefully through the rest of the day.

Mango shake

Here’s the plan for the next few weeks!

Completely off sugar from tomorrow until the 6th of July. I am using that date as a break as we plan to be at our friend’s place and drinking and eating well will be high on the agenda 😉

Completely off bread, flour, rice or any other bad carbs till 6th. I am embracing a Mediterranean style of eating which will comprise of salads, fruits, the occasional gluten free bread or pasta and some fish or chicken ( depending on how I feel about it ). I am not high on the meat intake anyway so I don’t think I will miss eating any of this stuff.

I will be posting a picture of my weight once a week on Tuesday mornings. And my step count on Fitbit everyday.

Keep watching this space for more! 🙂

‘Back’ to the basics!! Join me on my journey of weight loss and building a strong core.

say-no-to-junk-food

I have successfully managed to lose tiny bits of weights several times over the last few years. But the weight loss has never really stuck. Since the last few years, I had been toying with the idea of buying a Fitbit for myself but had never really gotten around to doing it. Last September on the 17th of the month ( my birthday ), my husband decided to gift me a Fitbit. As with all other birthdays of mine, he usually asks me what to gift me and I almost let him know what to buy for me. Funny, I know, but that’s how we roll as a couple! It’s better to let each other know what you want rather than to ummm and aaahh later on when your spouse has bought you something you don’t really care much for. But more about that in another post, some other time.

The Fitbit really did change things for me quite a bit. I am someone who likes being alone atleast for an hour or two everyday and walking is the perfect way to ensure that I give myself that time daily. I love listening to music or a self-help podcast or even stuff related to politics or health while I am out on one of my walks. It is the time I most crave for everyday, as, being an introvert, I need to have time alone with myself to recharge in order to feel like I am ready to take on the world.

However, as with all other attempts at weight loss, this time too- I took the walking with Fitbit quite seriously for about 2 months or so and then finally gave up and got back to my old ways. What’s good is that I did go from weighing about 97 kgs to 88kgs or so within three months and have since managed to stick to the 88-90 kgs range. No mean fit this considering that about a year or two back- I would have gone back to my old weight by now. But I am 5 ft 7 inches tall and this weight is still a lot for my body to handle and it keeps giving me signals that I need to get back to my walking schedule asap. Last October ( 2018 ), I was hitting an average of 15000 steps daily and most days I would continue to walk till my Fitbit had clocked about 20-22k steps.

I have realized that the more I try to push fitness out of my life, the more miserable I become. I have major back pain issues caused by degenerative disc disease which essentially means that if I do not take extra good care of my back right now- old age would be a miserable, miserable space for me. I suffer from debilitating pain quite frequently and as much as sitting in the same spot without moving for anything over thirty minutes can cause my back to hurt a tremendous amount. it is a sharp, searing pain, like I am being stabbed in my spine ( no exaggeration here ) and sometimes it is concentrated in the lower back region but at other times, it just spreads to all over my back. Over the last few years, I have sort of become used to this pain and find that I have subconsciously restricted myself from a lot of activities only because of the persistent question in my mind ‘What if my back isn’t able to take it? ‘

This pisses me off!

Much, much, more than I can say!!!

I have a bit of a fighter spirit, if I may use that term, and I find that when faced with a ‘fight or flight’ situation, my response is usually always to fight. For such a person, then, to give in to a back problem and stop herself from doing things she might otherwise enjoy, feels like a failure, to put it mildly. I often end up berating myself because I realize that there’s nothing I can do to control what has happened to me already but I do have the choice to take complete control of my pain issues in the future. And that control over my life is just what I am not exercising.  I can choose to eat well, exercise and focus my efforts on building a stronger core- all activities I know are crucial for my well being now.

Which is why I have decided to post this on my blog today.

I feel that posting this online means making myself more accountable to follow through on what I know I cannot avoid doing any longer. I am going to start on a diet and exercise program which I intend to stick to atleast six days a week starting tomorrow. This time around, I am absolutely determined to do everything in my power to make my core and consequently my back muscles really strong so that I can go back to living a regular life- one that is not marred by disheartening episodes of severe pain.

Epiphany much?

I have been in a weird mode all day today. Super, super thrilled for no reason at all. I have been reading Robin Sharma’s books for quite a while now but all the enthusiasm that they are filling me with today is something quite rare. The moment I moved out of office today and got back on my way home, I played an audiobook on YouTube and was immediately lost in that inspiring man’s voice. I know his critics would probably be of the opinion that he says what he says and writes what he does to make money. But how is that any of my concern? I am prone to indulging in a great deal of self-reflection and the reason I love this guy is because a lot of what he says sounds like the kind of stuff that my mind says when it is talking to me. It is the stuff I observe all the time around me – it is the knowledge I know I have within me.  He speaks of attaining the ultra heightened degree of self awareness, an almost painful amount,  that I know I am already blessed with. What is missing from my life though is the execution bit. And that’s a huge part of why I have decided to write this blog on a daily basis.

So I have been thrilled all evening, but it is all in my head. It isn’t like I am jumping on the sofa or swinging from the trees around where I live. On the contrary, I have been way more silent than usual, have barely spoken three straight sentences to the husband since he got back from work and have been lost in reading and now writing this post. But I am strangely at peace with myself today. And so, I intend to do nothing to disturb it.

It just feels good. It just feels absolutely right. Like all the pieces will somehow magically fall into place if I keep feeling the way I am feeling right now.

I am just going to write everything down from now on. That’s the big plan! 🙂

Going dutch!

I am off to the Netherlands in about 2 weeks from now. I got the news late last evening and have been kind of excited and kind of not-so excited since then.

I am not-so excited because I have already been to NL last year with my husband and the thought of going abroad on a trip without him and all by myself is turning out to be a little unappealing to me. I am hoping this feeling will fix itself in a couple of days and I can actually enjoy the trip as much the one I went on last year.

I am excited because I love travelling and even a drive to the local coffee shop can double up as a travel experience and get me super thrilled on a day when I have been sitting at home since the morning. My husband knows exactly how much this means to me. A change of scenery does me a lot of good. Generally.

I am excited about going to the Keukenhof gardens with the endlessly stunning fields of tulips. We went there last year as well but reached about a week after all the tulips were gone.

I am excited about going to the Red Light district again! Not cos I enjoyed looking at hookers or smoking pot, or enjoyed looking at hookers smoking pot but because the general atmosphere of the district was one of such absolute fun and joy that we ended up going there every single evening during our time in Amsterdam.

I am also excited about getting to visit Groningen and Rijswijk. This is where the company offices are located and we would be required to spend a week in each of the locations.

The greatest amount of excitement though is reserved for a possible trip to Giethoorn village this time. We had it on our itinerary last year as well but had to drop it at the last moment in favor of a trip to Zaanse Schans which is where all the beautiful windmills are! I am really looking forward to visiting Giethoorn this time and really hope I won’t be disappointed. I have seen several pictures and videos of the place and it looks like a village straight out of a fairy tale. Have a look at the pictures below to find out what the fuss in my head is all about.

G1

G2

Looking forward to all the tripping!! 🙂

Ta!

10 things you should know about me.

  1. I think a lot. An insane lot. I wish I could stop, I wish there was some other way to get myself through the day. But it’s been over thirty long years of doing this day in and day out. And I realize there is nothing. This is who I am, this is who I will continue to be. The sooner I accept it, the more at peace I will be with myself and with things around me.
  2. I was once in a very serious relationship with a guy and I broke up with him, or he broke up with me, because I refused to give up my work for him. In retrospect, however, as much pain as that caused me when it happened, the decision worked out beautifully for me. It’s the first decision I ever made in my life using my head and not my heart, and it has since set the trend for almost every event in my life where I have felt torn between the devil and the deep blue sea!
  3. My grandmother’s death about 8 years back and the incidents that have happened since, have been the biggest teachers in my life. She was the smartest, most graceful woman I had ever had the good fortune of knowing and she used to love me like no one has ever loved me again. She was always so beautiful, strong-willed ( sometimes almost to a fault ) and physically fit that when her end approached in the form of an interstitial respiratory illness, I couldn’t believe the helpless state that she was reduced to. I don’t think I have gotten over her death and I highly doubt I ever will. However, I don’t talk much about her to anyone other than my husband or my immediate family as no one is likely to understand the way I feel.
  4. I grapple with weight issues and severe body-image troubles. But more about this in another post!

Now that I have bored you with all the sad, needless bits, let me tell you about the amazing things that help me keep my head above water on a daily level.

  1. I read a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. There are days I’d rather not do anything else. The fact that I grew up in a household filled with books and was taught how to read at a very young age, has probably helped a lot. My granddad, the ultimate book-lover himself,  will get all the credit for this.
  2. I absolutely, crazily love the man I have married. Somedays, I wish I could somehow explain to him just how much. His jokes, his smile, his amazing impressions of cartoon characters are literally what keep me going on days when I have had too much crap to bear in office. He is one of the smartest people I know and I have yet to meet another soul who can make me laugh the way this crazy person can. He already knows the depth of my feelings for him and I keep reminding him twenty times on a daily basis about them. But there, I said it. Once again! 🙂
  3. I love my parents, my Baba ( grandfather ) and my little brother, who isn’t that little anymore. I don’t think I love anyone or anything in the world as much as I love these five people and my husband. Together, these folks, unbeknownst to them, are the center of my little universe. My feelings and level of sadness/happiness on any given day are governed almost exclusively by how good or bad things are with my parents and brother and whether the smile on my husband’s face today is wider than it was yesterday.
  4. I cannot function without YouTube and I wonder what will happen to me the day they decide to discontinue it, if they ever do. I watch a lot of interviews and listen to music practically all the time. I cannot fall asleep unless I listen to a Joe Rogan podcast or Oprah speaking to a wonderfully accomplished human being on Super Soul Sunday editions of YouTube.
  5. I intend to write a book someday. I have no clue what it will be about, but I know it will be soon.
  6. And lastly, I love cheese. In any form. On literally anything.

The how and why of it

I am not particularly fond of blog posts titled ‘first blog post’. I have no clue what WordPress wants me to put here so all I can really tell you guys is what I know as of this moment- which is that this blog is going to be an outlet for all sorts of things for me. I am going to attempt to be as honest as I can be here. One of my goals for this year is to do things that are important but that I have been avoiding for the longest time possible as actually going through with them would put me out of my comfort zone.

So I am going to try to write things here which I actually feel. No matter how uncomfortable the idea of putting them on a public portal like WordPress makes me.

Growing up, one of my worst fears has been that I will be disliked by those around me -and although part of being an adult is to learn to mask fears such as these and present a perpetually feisty front to the world,  I find that I have still not gotten as far with actually not bothering about what someone thinks of me. It is a journey of self development and one that I constantly have to second guess myself on, but I have seen certain extremely welcome changes in my personality in the last couple of months and I am hopeful about my future as far becoming more assertive and being able to express my feelings is concerned.

Once, about eight years back, when I was going through a breakup with a person I had been in a serious relationship with for quite some time, my uncle who was in India on a visit, asked me to do something which seemed utterly silly at that time but has since had me thinking on several occasions about how blogging or posting on Facebook is kind of the same thing really. I was about 25 and without a job. My grandmom who was the dearest person in my life had passed away only a few months back and being with her through her last months, watching her suffer painfully and being unable to do anything about it had left me in a deep depression that was making it very difficult for me to function in a normal manner. To top that my boyfriend had given me an ultimatum that I would either give up all hopes of ever working and making a career for myself or I could kiss all dreams of being with him goodbye. I was in a state of heartbreak and the reasons were more than one. I was losing people who had been so important in my life and to events that I felt helpless to control. My uncle saw me doing the strangest things like breaking the sim card of my phone so that no one could reach me, staying awake all through the night and being in a haze through the day and being absolutely disinterested in anything that was going on around me.

One Sunday evening, he asked me about my behavior and wondered what the issue was and I couldn’t hide anything anymore. I just broke down and cried like I have never cried before and told him everything that was going on. The things he said to me in response to my revelation to him might seem totally ordinary to anyone reading this, but at that time it made me feel strangely positive and as if I would be able to get over all that I was going through someday. I had till that point read about bad things having happened to people and how eventually people can move on from pretty much anything, but this was the first time I was actually getting validation from someone whose opinion I really respected and whose experiences and achievements in life, I held in extremely high regard. The following is what he told me-

  • No matter how sad it makes you right now, no matter how it breaks your heart, two years down the line you will look back on this and be able to laugh at all of it.
  • Almost everyone you know has gone through something similar in their life- you are not alone
  • Get used to ‘rejection’ and learn to live with it

And while the first two of those observations/suggestions did turn out to be true, it was the third one that I took the most seriously. And even now as I start writing this blog, I have only that advice in mind as there are few things that can make you be okay with rejection as much as putting your thoughts out on a public platform such as a blog or Facebook etc.

People will comment and tell you that you’re wrong, some will argue with you, others will try to make fun of you and yet others will simply ignore. There will be those as well who will agree with and appreciate every post of yours. Ironically, however, it will be this last category’s opinions that you will find the most difficult to take seriously. For it is human nature to believe the worst about ourselves and base our self worth on the criticism we receive. This is especially true in a case like mine where compliments generally tend to roll right off my back and the criticism sticks for months on end.

So the point of this post is that If I could only learn to ignore the barbs that are thrown my way and focus only on that which enhances my sense of self worth, this blog writing journey of mine really would have yielded the one thing I have sought for the longest time possible now!

More to come soon! Ta for now! 🙂