Update: I have changed lots and embraced green tea, black coffee and certain other things that I avoided (when this piece was written). Health remains a priority, as always.
Ok! Before we proceed I want you to see the following on Health. It’s truly amazing, hilarious and there is no reason why you will not laugh like anything after reading it! You may click to enlarge it and then again click on the enlargced image to magnify it slightly. I found it on the internet (can’t recall where). By the way what you see on the left is my home made body (photo dated February, 2008).
I would say ‘Health is greater than Wealth.’ I am extremely health conscious. I want to look 25 even when I am 50 years old! I have a beautiful body thanks to running and some strength training. I run about 6 to 10 Kms these days and can run more (I began running only in 2004 when I ran for hardly 2 months, in 2005 again just 2 months, ditto 2006, 2007 almost same but 2008 is surprisingly different). Now I am running in the morning. Sometimes my exercise schedule is disrupted becase of my thinking/dreaming habit which forces me to sit in my room! I do have an adventurer in me and I unsuccessfully aspired for a job which would have made me a globetrotter and traveller!
Running is followed by half an hour of strength training in my room (I’ve dumb bells and barbell in my room). I am planning to join swimming too (and I know I will like it). Read below my activities on the health front and don’t emulate everything I do if you are inspired (read the disclaimer at the bottom). By the way, I really wish I was the health minister of my country! I want to quit all this study and research and become a fitness expert or health activist!
WHAT I DON’T EAT AND QUIT FOREVER
Some four years ago I quit cigarette (yes, I was a smoker!). I also quit its concomitants: tea, coffee and soft drinks. I quit these for good (permanently). So, it has been four years without these items that most people can’t live without and I will not touch them all my life. And I never miss them (though tea has some health benefits)! I wrote to Aamir Khan on his blog that I can help him quit smoke but he didn’t reply! I have a surefire way to quit smoking. Write if you want me to help you. I have helped one person quit cigarette. One instant and it’s gone!
Almost at the same time, I quit Dairy Milk Chocolate which I was eating like anything! I still love chocolates but will eat any brand except the said one and that too in moderation.
I also quit Crunchy-Munchy and Kurkure which I was consuming like a pig!
Last year I quit Bhature, Puri, Jalebi, butter, jam and nail-chewing. I will not touch these all my life.
I quit things for good because it is hard for me to resist them or control them or enforce moderation (I had always loved oily food!). You may say I am throwing the baby out with bath water! But I am enjoying tremendous health benefits, just the same. Apart from quitting permanently, I also put things in a negative list for a certain time period such as early this year I decided not to eat momos (lamb) and Ramdana ladoos (amaranthus) for six months and I have decided not to eat any more ice creams this year.
WHAT I EAT
I eat low-calories food, low/no fat food. Now I eat a lot of potatoes because I need carbohydrates for running. I have seen a pizza only in photos and I don’t regret it. I also eat low-cooked/boiled vegetables in my hostel mess. For three days in a week (Wed, Fri, Sun), I usually visit the mess at 9 PM for dinner so that I get to eat all the boiled vegetables that remains unconsumed along with the meat offered on these non-vegetarian days! I believe I am quite a spectacle eating such food for I notice I have eyes noticing me eating the same! I still cannot eat boiled Karela (bitter gourd) and shimla mirch (capsicum)! I especially like boiled ladyfinger.
My usual food is as follows (and I am almost always in the usual mode). Please note that I live in the hostel and eat or manipulate whatever is offered in the mess only. I hardly go to restaurants (I am the type who will carry food to restaurants!). I have recently bought a 25 L grill Microwave oven (Electrolux) and will use it to boil vegetables. I also may add new items to my food list such as the Museli.
Breakfast: low-fat milk usually 300 ml in which I soak 3 slices (usually the cover slices called crusts which I like). What a pity, our hostel mess does not have whole wheat bread! Our mess menu has dosa, chhole with egg (s), paranthas (for some months I ate the oil-less paranthas), halwa, upama, bananas, chana (grams) etc. on different days.
Lunch: Usually 2 Rotis with boiled sabji; sometimes a little rice; often boiled pulses too. These days I am eating slightly more because running necessitates more calories.
Snacks: Oatmeal (porridge) usually at 5 PM (this is my 2 year old habit).
Sprouts (moong/lentils) usually at 5 PM or at night (my 3 year old habit!)
I rarely eat samosas, pakoras etc. that JNUites and Indians find irrestible!
I often visit Safal, the cooperative store for seasonal fruits.
Papad, groundnut, tomatoes, roasted grams, sattu, soya chunks, gur, choora, pop corn are some other delicacies I occasionally relish. I love curd (yoghurt/dahi) and it is normal for me to eat 500 ml to 1 Kg/litre in one sitting! My room alwasy has some eatables.
- Dinner: Usually 2 Rotis with Boiled sabji; three days a week chicken or mutton
THE REWARDS ETC.:
I have a beautiful body (almost six packs) which is entirely home-made (see photos above). I am merely 165 cm and don’t look quite formidable despite that body and I don’t regret it (though most people who aspire for a chiselled body want to look huge! I never wanted to resemble a mutton-shop!)
The dentist two years ago said I have the best dental health he came across in JNU! I hardly take ill (though I enjoy visiting the local health centre). The negatives: I sport sunken cheeks and many friends and acquaintances have asked me and others if I was unwell! I hope they will adjust with time. My butt is rather subdued now (thanks to running) and I am working on it with squats and lunges exercises.
JUST A NOTE: If you are inspired, please do not follow it blindly. The above regimen may result in dangerously low fat levels in the body. Do your own research and meet your physician before inaugurating a regimen for health. My best wishes for your health endeavours.
Also, read the average Jane’s guide to healthy living and weight loss.
Edited 28 February 2009 : This page was actually written in mid-2008 and relates to that period. Of late I have slightly deteriorated and put on weight but it’s temporary.
Vikas Gupta, Sabarmati, JNU