How to Stay Healthy When Life Goes Crazy

How to Stay Healthy When Life Goes Crazy

Hi everyone!

As mentioned in my last post, it was all set to be a crazy week. I had:

  • Wonderla.
  • A very important job interview.
  • Family get-together over three days (friday, saturday and sunday)
  • General deadlines in terms of work.

Obviously, all of these exciting events did damage my normal goals. So how did I do this week?


Monday: Went to Wonderla.

Tuesday: No. 😦

Wednesday: Interview.

Thursday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Friday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Saturday: Swimming for 30 minutes. Also, loads of dancing in the evening for about 30 minutes.

Sunday: Walk with my parents (with a little running thrown in here and there) for about 30-40 minutes.

Honestly, this was as good as it could’ve gotten this week. I’m particularly proud of the end of the week.


Monday: 2300 calories. Because Wonderla.

Tuesday: 1422 calories.

Wednesday: 1900 calories (this is because, feeling very happy about the interview, I went out for dinner with two fellow interviewees despite already having eaten pizza at the interview and eaten enough throughout the day).

Thursday: I have no idea! How could I not record it? However, given that I had about 575 calories left over for dinner, I am assuming I ate something reasonable and made it within the 1550 limit.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: With my family, given the varied nature of the meals and the fact that there was a LOT of sharing, I was never sure how to calculate, and so I didn’t.

Lessons Learnt: 

So it hasn’t been a great week, food wise. I hope this blog will not become an “excuses” blog, so I won’t really make excuses, but I did learn how I could make some better choices this week:

Don’t snack between meals: I tried to avoid this as much as possible in my family celebration, because we were eating huge meals already and snacks tend to be super high calorie and nutritionally useless. I didn’t always succeed because, well, banana wafers and caramel popcorn and sakarapara and murukku were on offer, but I avoided it as much as I could. I also saw that the more nutritionally conscious members of the family were avoiding them strenuously.

If drinking, drink low calorie drinks: Think I succeeded in this. Peach snapps with soda, Bloody Mary, and Gin and Tonic over three days of family celebrations. Not crazy, calorie wise. Also yummy. I avoided all other drinks, though I did end up drinking a LOT of coffee and tea  that everyone else was drinking (but with very less sugar). Next time, would avoid or opt for plain milk.

Choose smaller portions of everything: Did, mostly. Went back for seconds only very rarely. Couldn’t resist the homemade Bhel on Saturday night. I especially took small portions of desserts or shared with people, which I’m proud of.

Don’t eat unless hungry: Again, mostly happy about this. Though I did go a little overboard on Sunday.

Stay active: Think I nailed it on this one! Swam laps in the pool on Friday and Saturday (my uncle’s house has a pool nearby). My brother said I’ve become boring in the pool but my parents definitely think my swimming has improved since they last saw it last June. Enjoyed dancing a lot with my cousins on Saturday night. Loved the walk with my parents on Sunday, had a lot of important conversations with them.

Have fun with family: Remember that life is about more than calories and that enjoying with your family (even if you only eat at maintenance and don’t lose any weight at all that week) is good for your mental health. And when your aunt says you look thinner and clothes fit better and you can walk and swim and run without getting winded … smile.


Looking forward to a great next week.

(Sorry for the long wait for this blog post. I’ll try to be more regular as well.)



Calories consumed: 2300 (or more).

Going to Wonder La, running around for rides, climbing up for water rides, laughing so much I cried with friends, jumping around in wave pools, and general good memories: Unaccountable.

No regrets.

But it does mean I have to eat a lot more carefully this week, given that it’s going to be a really stressful and exciting one (very important job interview, parents coming over for a huge family celebration, submissions for college) and I don’t know how regular I’ll be able to be with activity. I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes!

Week in Recap: August 17th to August 23rd

Week in Recap: August 17th to August 23rd

Hi everyone! This is my (hopefully weekly) check-in of how I’m really doing with regard to my goals.


Monday: –

Tuesday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Wednesday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Thursday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Friday: Jessica Smith TV Dance Party

Saturday: –

Sunday: Swimming for 30 minutes (but not very vigorously, as I was teaching a friend).

I wish I’d exercised on Saturday, but still, pretty close to my goals! I’m pretty kicked!


(For reference, the goal is about 1550 calories a day).

Monday: 1455 calories.

Tuesday: 1537 calories.

Wednesday: 1520 calories.

Thursday: 1557 calories.

Friday: 1570 calories.

Saturday: 1477 calories.

Sunday (gah): 1849 calories. [I did make good choices at Subway! But then I got waylaid by an extra large packet of chips while watching a movie in my room. Eh. No regrets. It was end of week and a long weekend anyway.]

Now, this isn’t exactly terrible! I’m sure the extra on sunday is compensated by the lower values on many other days and by the exercise (though I’m sure a lot of the calculations have been off or lower as well).

But overall I’m really happy with this week. It’s been a happy, productive week. Hoping for many more in the future!

How’s your week been?

Making Good Choices At … Subway

Making Good Choices At … Subway

Hey everyone! Today I’m going out to meet a friend. However, I’ve learnt that if I want to eat out, having gone through the menu in advance and picked a “good” option really helps me to not make terrible decisions. (Of course, that doesn’t rule out spontaneous bad decisions, but those are more fun anyway). So I headed over to the “nutrition” section of the Subway website.

Yay Subway.

Pick First: The Bread

I always try to pick a whole-wheat bread at Subway. I don’t know how much it changes the nutrition because the Subway website in India doesn’t have that information, however, extrapolating a bit from the U.S. website, it seems that they’re all roughly the same. I could pick Hearty Italian if I really wanted to minimize calories, but 10-20 don’t really seem to make that much of a difference.

Pick Second: The Sub

I’m vegetarian, so all options are vegetarian. You can decide your own calculation. So, I thought the best option would be Veg. Shammi because Subway had very triumphantly called it “fat free”, and because it had a lot of protein (about 22 grams), but its also has a lot more calories (352) and a lot more carbs (53 grams) than a Veggie Delight sandwich. A veggie delight has about 230 calories and 15 grams of protein. A quick calculation revealed that its almost the same amount of protein per gram, so Veggie Delight it is!

Pick Third: The Condiments

So, the sauces can make or break your sandwich. I love my sandwich absolutely full of sauces, but I’ve realized that I can’t do that. Since Subway India doesn’t tell you how many calories are there in their sauces, I’ve looked at this website and this  website and decided that ideally my sub will have:

  • Honey Mustard Sauces – 30 cal
  • Sweet Chili Sauce – 40 cal
  • Fat Free Sweet Onion Sauce – 40 calories.

That’s a hundred calories. Also, I’d like to add about sixty calories of cheese because I like cheese and it adds a little protein (approximately 4 grams).

Total Calorie Count of Sandwich: 400 calories. 

Pick Last: Cookies, Soda, Etc. 

Anyone of their cookies (as much as I love them) is an extra 200 calories. I will decide whether to eat them depending on how much I want it at that point, and what else I have eaten and plan to eat that day. Since I’ve had almost no breakfast today (woke up late, didn’t feel like eating) I may pick a cookie to go with my meal (or eat another dessert, like ice cream, with my friend).

I won’t drink the coke under any circumstances. In my opinion coke (and other aerated drinks) are just empty calories. They also make me feel all burpy.

In Conclusion: Eat it All. Just Wisely. Also websites really need to do a better job of giving nutritional info for their stuff. 

Why be Healthy in Bangalore (or anywhere else)?

Why be Healthy in Bangalore (or anywhere else)?

I’ve always believed that resolutions work better when you work out the why not just the how of what you’re doing. I’ll write about the why of a lot of things at some point (why calorie counting, why exercise … ) but I think at first I think I’d like to explore why I want to be healthy at all.

For My Present Self

I want to be able to enjoy my college life. I don’t want to think twice about walking 7km just talking with a friend (happened recently) or running around trying to catch a metro on MG Road, or running up the steps to the newest quirky restaurant on Churchstreet. If I’m huffing and puffing, neither I nor any of my friends will be able to enjoy these experiences optimally, which would really suck.

For My Future Self

So I can race up the stairs to meetings, play with my future children, and go on exciting treks for vacations. I want to free myself from the tyranny of bad genes that put me at a high risk of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac failure (among other things).I want any children I have to see and emulate a naturally healthy life rather than seeing a general state of malaise that is then punctured by random and unhealthy diets and exercise. I want to, if at all possible, give them the gift of a positive body image. Hell, I want to give myself that.  I know a lot of these things may not work out anyway. I may be hit by a bus. I may develop cancer. My kids may hate their bodies, or me, or everything. But I want to be able to give us all a chance.


I want to look toned. I have no great hopes of looking very slender, because I don’t think I’m built like that (and it isn’t my preferred aesthetic in any case), but I’d love to look curvy and muscular.

To look like Beyonce.
To look like Beyonce.

For the Ancillary Benefits

To walk into a clothing store and always find my size. To be able to not think so much about what I want to eat because the better choices have all been internalized. To be able to enjoy the career benefits of being fit. To be able to enjoy the romantic benefits of being fit. To be able to feel good about myself and therefore be more confident about everything I do. To be able to look into a mirror uncritically. (I know that losing weight alone won’t do any of these things … that’s why this blog is for physical and mental health).

Saturday morning musings.

Workout Video Review: Jessica Smith TV Dance Party

Workout Video Review: Jessica Smith TV Dance Party

So swimming was closed today, so I had to do some other workout. I picked an online video workout.

Now, I have a lot of experience with online video workouts. We used to use them a LOT one semester when C, N and I used to get together and exercise, and we used them in the beginning of this semester too (though we didn’t keep up with it). I have a database of almost a hundred videos of various types so I’m never bored doing the same one over and over again. Workout videos are a good way to exercise when you have a million excuses for yourself – too hot outside, no equipment, no money, no time – no problem.

What I look for in a video

  • Fun
  • Approximately 30 minutes (though I’ve done some which are longer)
  • Good quality
  • Can be done at home
  • Available freely (and not illegally)
  • Doesn’t require any equipment

Review: Jessica Smith TV

Jessica Smith TV has to be one of my favorite youtube channels. Jessica herself is fun, bubbly and encouraging (and has the most adorable dog). While her entire vibe is laid-back, but her workouts themselves are extremely professional: she’ll almost always have a warm-up and cool-down included, and her workouts always make me sweat and feel like I’ve done some real activity. Though she has “cool down” moves in the middle so you don’t get too tired, she doesn’t stop for even one minute so you keep moving throughout the video. She’s also really easy to follow – the workout I did today had moves I recognized from my aerobics classes, but they were much easier to follow than my actual aerobics class. I’ve done a number of workouts by and her and I always feel TIRED (or stretched, depending on the video) at the end of her workouts (which isn’t always the case with youtube workouts). Her workouts are often low-impact, so you don’t even need shoes. She has loads of videos with zero equipment (or things like towels or chairs) on a variety of topics (flexibility, strength and cardio). Also, her workouts can be done at home – if I can do them in my small cramped hostel room, you can do them anywhere!

Today I did the Dance Party workout. Its a really fun workout and isn’t too difficult (though you can make it as tough as you like by adding more jumping around, I was quite tired after 30 minutes of doing exactly what she did). Like most of Jessica’s videos, I didn’t even think this required shoes (though if you have knee trouble you may want them). No other equipment was needed. Space was a little cramped on this one but it was okay. Plus, the music was really fun 80s and 90s pop music – think Spice Girls and Walk Like an Egyptian, which I really had fun with. I love dance workouts.

Some of my other favorites are the Cardio Ballet workout (this one is TOUGH – I can barely ever do 30 minutes unless I’ve been working out a lot that week, and I was aching all over later) and the Flexibility Stretch – this one just makes me feel so relaxed. I love doing it on lazy sundays.

Review Summary: I was red-faced, smiling and satisfied at the end of the workout and I didn’t have to get out of my room or spend more than 30 minutes. You should do it too!

Dance Party
Just give yourself a dance party.
Dear Heartbreaking Boy

Dear Heartbreaking Boy

Warning: If you’re going to be bored by my talking about heartbreak and moving on, please don’t read ahead.

Quote by Cheryl Strayed, who has taught me everything I care to know about love.

Dear A,

Today I tried to imagine meeting you after a few years. I would be awesome, obviously – successful, happy, and with someone else (duh). I’m patting myself on the back because even in my petty revenge day dream, you weren’t sad or heartbroken.

In my head, I never wanted you to be sad. I privileged your happiness in exclusion of my own – when you said something I found hurtful, I bit my tongue rather than lash out at you. When you never showed up, I made excuses for you to myself, to my parents, to my friends. When it was easy to leave, I chose (for once!) to be the girl who stayed.

So you left.

I don’t blame you. Of course you had to privilege your mental health over mine. I blame you (a little) because I never could. But I can’t forgive you. I can’t forgive you for the sake of that hopeful girl inside me who thought that this might work out. I can’t forgive you because you don’t feel the need to say hi to me and check on whether I’m okay but I do. I can’t forgive you for being the first to leave. I can’t forgive you for the panic attacks, for the feeling of hopelessness, like you were my last shot at happiness.

I know, of course, that this isn’t true. I’m 21. My future stretches forward like a sunny path, my imagination has no trouble making up a mystery person who will fill my life with love and happiness. Even without him, I have more than enough friends and family and work to not have the time or inclination to sit and cry about you. Enough has happened in the past month to wipe the taste of you from my mouth.

Still, on days like this I do wonder why I wasn’t enough. What did I do wrong? What is so unlovable about me? Should I have pushed less, should I have shaved my legs, lost some weight, been less cheesy?

On days like this I have to ask myself how I’d feel if my mother or my future daughter knew that I was thinking this. Would I want my future children to think this way? Of course I’d want them to learn from failed relationships (not just romantic) to be better, kinder, bigger people. But I also want to them to learn who they are. To know what core of themselves they will value more than love – even mine. And I’d want them to fight for that core – even against me. Fighting for personhood is a constant battle of attrition in this crazy world, and I can’t bear the thought of them losing it.

And therefore I can’t afford to lose it. Not even for you, my love. Especially not to love, which is supposed to make you more of a person, not less.

And yet, I feel the tinge of loneliness. The fear of never finding someone special, someone to be mine. (I don’t claim possession, just preemption.)

Be worthy love, and love will come.

I love this line from Good Wives. But for the longest time I thought being worthy meant to be more like someone else – more pretty, more thin, more intelligent, more vivacious, more helpful, more resourceful. Without any blame, I recognize that these are things I learnt from my parents. I’ve grown out of this. These days, I believe worthiness has to come from within – by being more secure, by being more happy, by having a life and hobbies of your own, by being you. 

This, too: that my partner will have to prove his or her willingness, ability and suitableness to love me as much as I will have to prove my willingness, ability and suitableness to be loved.

So dear A, perhaps I was not the right person to love you. Perhaps you were not the right person to love me. Perhaps we were the right people at the wrong time or the right people for a short fated duration of time. It doesn’t matter. I forgive you because I must forgive you in order to forgive myself. I have to forgive myself because I have a long life to live that cannot constantly be tinged by what ifs and maybe I should’ve. I have to forgive you because I have to be myself. 

I hope we do meet in a few years, A. I hope we’re both happy and successful and with other people who adore us and are right for us. I hope the music is loud and the food is good. I hope we don’t linger.