Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Law of Exciting Exercise.

The mathematics behind weight loss is fairly simple.

Weight Loss = Eat a little less + Exercise a little more.

Similarly so is the mathematics behind weight gain

Weight gain= Eat more than you require + No Exercise at all.

The formulas above always prove to be true.

One most essential part of weight loss which also ironically is the most dreaded part is Exercising. The moment we think of exercising the first thought that comes to mind is "I hate it" or "its boring" or "I cannot join a gym for losing weight".

I have already discussed the rules of eating in Fantastic Food Law, here I am gonna write about my experience with exercising.

1. Exercise Tools (my journey from 85 kgs to 69 kgs) - I always believed that a gym is a must for weight loss. No gym no weight loss. In college I had an opportunity to join a gym and I lost some weight and so my belief was strengthen. When I started working and going to a gym was not possible I gained weight because "I had no time for gymming".

So whenever weight loss was mentioned I always thought I was at loss because I could not join a gym.

I was pushed to challenge this belief when I landed in a extremely hot country with a broken back and where the nearest gym was very expensive and very far.

I lived for sometime thinking nothing much can be done, I can hardly walk for few steps.
All the was there for me was my front courtyard. It was the safest place on earth where I could walk and the moment pain started I could come inside to protection of my home and relax.

This is the place where I started my weight loss journey. My small front courtyard. I started with 10 minutes walk and a proper diet. I never expected a change in weight but to my surprise the needle shifted down and my motivation shifted up.

Please excuse the mop, I never knew I would be uploading this pic on my blog one day.

That small courtyard became my exercising tool. I gained my stamina to walk there. From 10 min I graduated to 30 min and then 1 hour.

This experience also made me respect small places. The day it was very hot to walk outside, I would walk from one room to another for an hour. I still do.

I have told you guys before that my weight loss happened when I was in a transition phase totally dependent on others.

I landed at my mom's place when I weighed 78 kgs. I was again faced with a problem of traffic on the road and street dogs (I am damn scared of them). SO I made use of the terrace there and walked to and fro on the terrace for an hour.

The real challenge and the breakthrough came when I went to live with my sister. She lives in this amazing society and this society gave me security and place to walk as much as I wanted to. Do you see the first and the last pillar. I used to walk in circles from the first to last pillar for one hour. It was here in this society and with walking with all my strength I lost most of my weight.

Of course I did join a gym, when it rained I joined a gym for a month. But as I was totally dependent on others to leave me to the gym and pick me from the gym they only agreed to make adjustment for a month. They adjusted because they saw how much I was putting into my weight loss and during rains walking was not an option at all but after that month I came back to walking.

You should not be dependent on an exercising place, the place should be dependent on you. If you can join a gym fine if you cannot then get your walking shoes out and start walking, its free and it gives results.

Look around you, believe me you have the power to transform any place into a exercising ground all you have to do is break from your age old beliefs.

Until and unless you challenge your believes you will never explore new horizons and new grounds. I was pushed to challenge my believes.

2. Boring Exercise - Yes exercise can be boring. Our mind needs to be occupied always. Its not necessary for the body to be in motion but mind needs to be in motion always. Doing the same thing over and over again is boring.

When I started walking, in those 10 minutes I used to hear music and I used to see myself dancing on a high beats OR running OR working out in a gym with a fab body, all of this was told to me will never be possible in my lifetime (because of my back condition).

So one day I questioned myself, why am I not living in reality, why should I think something which even I know is never possible. SO I went to walk that day and 10 minutes seemed as 10 hours. I gave up walking after few minutes, my leg started hurting and I was damn bored.

It was then I realized that there are thoughts that make me happy and keep me involved for the whole period while I walk. I decided hell with NOT thinking things which are not possible. I will think anything on this earth which will make me walk and will keep me entrained for the time I exercise.

I never questioned my thoughts ever again. Anything is welcome in my mind while I am exercising, the only condition is it should keep me occupied.

One year down the line its another story that I dance on music, I workout in the gym and I run on the treadmill at 7.5km/hr.

I asked my aunt who is an avid walker how she doesn't get bored. She goes for early morning walks and she loves planning her day to minute details while she walks. Its her way to keep herself from getting bored.

All you have to do is figure out a way to keep yourself occupied for those 45 minutes once you figure that out, you won't get bored. No one is peeping in your mind to see what you are thinking so feel free to think whatever excites you. Don't analyze your thoughts. All thoughts which keeps you occupied while exercising are good thoughts (even if it means that you are kicking your neighbor in your thoughts every single day).

For me music works, some people like to think about their work or life, some like listening radio. There are so many options you just need to figure out which works for you the best.

3. Exercise Timing - The avid walker aunt of mine, gets up at 4:30 am and goes for a walk at 5:00 am. She walks almost 5 kms daily. She told me how beautiful it was to walk early morning, see the sunrise and hear the birds. It was heaven on earth in early morning. I was just bowled by her description and I wanted to join her.

First day I was all excited and I went for my walk. Not bad I enjoyed the experience. Second day I was a little less excited. 3rd day I felt my head will burst from aching and blood will come out of my nose. The morning felt horrible and there was no beauty to it. 4th day I told her I am sorry I will not accompany her for walks. 5th day I didn't even got up to say sorry I kept sleeping.

My Aunt always said that I am missing out on life if I cannot enjoy nature and I always felt that blood will drop from every part of my body specially from my head if I wake up early. So, if I missed on morning walks I missed on a whole days exercise.

This time I had no fixed timing. I am not a morning person, I never was and I never will be, period. When I started walking in my courtyard, I would walk in evening. Then I used to walk after dinner and would also walks in shade after my breakfast. It was just small walks but I would go for it.

People in that society above has seen me walking at 11:00 pm at night. Sometimes if I have missed out on my exercise and I am not able to do away with the guilt I do my cross trainer at home at 1:00 am at night. I go to gym now and I usually go there at 8:30 pm.

In short exercise is an exercise I do not follow a timetable. I only see that I have to exercise for 1 hour daily without fail at what time I do this exercise is my choice.

3.Workout and Friends - One of my friend joined a gym. She would go to the gym at 9:00 am after sending her kids to school and husband to work. Then she will be back by 12:00 pm, cook lunch by the time kids are also back. When I saw her few month of joining the gym she had lost only 2 kgs.
3 hours workout 5 days a week and only 2 kg weight loss. I asked her what all she does in the gym. She said there is a whole group of ladies that meet at the gym and they have fun and they gossip. Its like a picnic everyday. No wonder the weight loss was less.

I have seen it so many times, people talking on mobile or a group of girls chit chatting, laughing and doing everything but exrecising.

My sister always looked for a walking partner. I told her 'are you gonna walk or are you gonna talk'.

Socializing, talking while exercising is good. If you have friends at the gym then do your serious workout and then have fun.

You are not doing your best if you are able to talk while exercising. Its very difficult to do so. Believe me.

So dedicate a time for your dedicated workout and then go and mingle with your friends

4. The Lazy Workout - There are people who walk everyday and still they see no change in their weight, similarly, there are people who workout everyday but see no change.

Walking is powerful but it is as powerful as you can make it. If you gonna stroll it will be just a stroll which will make no dent to your body. When you walk you should walk like a walker.

I walk with my hands swinging to and fro. I feel the pressure between my shoulder plates and I take big strides.

When I was only walking I used to change my speed every few days. Usually I would see the time I take from the first pillar to the last pillar and then I would try covering the same distance in less time. I would feel pressure in my legs, my legs would ache for 2 days when I increased my speed but then body adapts to the new speed. The result after 1 hour of walking was same always, I was always drenched with sweat.

Normally I don't sweat much but you make me exercise and I will sweat like a pig. One reason that I sweat while walking was that I used challenge my body.

If you are a walker, walk like a pro. With your head straight and arms swinging to and fro and taking long strides.

You will see ladies chit chatting and walking slowly and you will also see that there will not be any profound change in their weight.

Never fall into the trap of lazy workout. You are doing the workout for a reason, its just for 1 hour so make it worth while, make it sweat you. Put in your everything in your workout.

5. Exercise Habit - If you make your enemy your friend then there will be no fight.

You will see few people who will always be regular with their walks/exercise. They will come day after day without fail. No one knows what drives them but I do know what drives me.

For me it started with the guilt. So if I missed exercise I would feel guilty about not losing weight. The guilt soon transformed into fear, if I don't exercise I will put on the weight back. Now for sometime it has changed into restlessness. The day I don't exercise I feel restless. Exercising has become a habit now. Its not necessary for me to go to the gym, if I am not able to exercise, I take mp3 and just walk. But I need to do a continuous movement of walking for 1 hour.

So instead of doing exercise temporary do it permanently. Forget the weight loss, tell yourself its a habit that is for keeps and you will always do it.

I did not make it a habit in one day, it became my habit eventually. So give yourself time to make exercising a habit. In all probability if you are regular with any exercise it will become your habit soon.

With this post I want to tell you that a small place does not mean that it will not give you a proper workout, if nothing more it will get you started. There is no fixed timing for exercising, do it whenever you are comfortable. And if you hate exercising then make it your habit. I use to hate brushing my teeth when I was a child but now its a habit.

Exercising is a must and you cannot escape it. The smartest way to deal with it is to make it exciting.

So get up and choose your ground and choose your battle. It doesn't matter if you win or you loose what matter is that you fight and make the battle worth while.


  1. Dear Shiva,

    Losing weight with a back problem is an outstanding achievement.U know i feel guilty and depressed when i don work out or eat a pizza .This has helped me in lot many ways .I cook heavy meals but will serve every one except myself..

    Your posts always motivates me and make me read them again if i try to shift..

    Thanks Dear:)

  2. Dear ANamika,

    Thanks honey for your appreciation. You are the only one who comments on this blog regularly, love you for this.

    Have a great day ahead.



  3. You never fail to inspire me, SHiva. Your posts are what I think of during those boring days.

  4. Dear Sccribbles,

    How are you honey. Thanks for your appreciation. I am very happy to know that my post inspire you and you think about them.

    Have a great day honey.



  5. Hi Shiva, I have been following your blog regularly and I find it very inspiring. I started walking within my house for a few days last week and felt good but left it in between , this was inspired by yur previous posts, now after reading this post I am again inspired and I hope this time I shall not lose track literally !!.
    take care and be an inspiration always.

    thanks and regards

  6. Dear Soul Speak,

    Thanks for liking my blog. I am so happy to know that it inspired you to walk.

    Thanks my friend for appreciating my work.

    Have a great day ahead.



  7. Hi Shiva,
    I am a regular silent follower of ur blogs; also in IL..Had never commented but this post had made me to comment...What a great post ......You are a inspiring person for many..keep up ur good work

    Actually, I am not in weight loss program. I used to do some work outs at home but not regularly (3-4 times a week)..After following ur blogs n threads in IL started to do the work outs regularly...Thanks Dear!!!!

  8. Dear Vaishnave,

    I am happy to know that the blog inspired you enough to workout. Exercising is not only good for weight loss but also good for general health.

    Thanks for appreciating the article.

    Wishing you Happy exercising.

    Have a great day ahead.



  9. You really are inspiring by what you do ....... it's no mean task to loose weight with a back problem , i know it well .
    It takes a lot of self conviction to give up all the tempting rich food and move your body .
    I don't see myself as committed as you as far as exercise goes ....... my exercise regime keeps changing from morning walks to cycling to just a few strategic dance steps few times a day.

  10. Dear Sangeeta,

    Thanks for your appreciation. What you did is smart, I read in your blog that you lost 10 kgs and are still losing weight. Shift in attitude of eating habits also play a major role.

    I like walking to I became committed towards it, dancing, cycling are a good way to workout too.

    Have a great day ahead.




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