Sunday, 13 May 2012

Some Confessions of a Belly Button Gazer

The trouble with jet lag is not that you feel sleepy all the time. Well, it's partly that, but I have my nice natural sleep aid with me, so that when I sleep at night, I sleep well. The trouble with jet lag is that you are out of touch with your body in so many ways. It's not that you feel ill, it's that you just don't feel.

You don't feel hunger. You are not sure that you are not hungry either. You don't feel your brain working. You are sort of vaguely aware that it is there. But you are not sure that it is all there, you know what I mean? And so you plod along the day as best you can with a major mental handicap.

When my brain fog cleared sufficiently, my first thought was "I have a mid-life crisis!" It may well be that this is true, but it may as well be due to the midriff crisis that I am currently going through. See the thing is, hospital visits and thinking about your aging parents, while taxing enough, is not really a work out in the traditional sense of the word. So, the body never really joined in the party. And believe it or not, at the end of a month I have put one 7lbs of weight. mostly -- you guessed it -- around the midriff. The jeans that was loose when I went to India was not just snug, but was quite the struggle to get into on my return trip!

But this is not the whole of the truth. The truth is much more insidious. (See, using words like "insidious" just makes me feel like I have not lost all of it just yet. So bear with me mmkay?).

The truth is that I have not been working out regularly for two years -- at least. And my body's "get out of jail free card" finally expired. It had been sneaking up on me and if I had not had the time to sit around without internet connection in the hospital room, bored enough to go back and leaf through my old photos, I would not have realized it. The truth is there for all to see-- the slow fluffing up of me. For the record, I am now at the same weight I was (ok one pound shy of) what I was in my pre-work out days nearly seven years ago.

But all is not lost. The body composition is definitely not what it was seven years ago. The strength levels were not what they were seven years ago. Now I can squat about 115 pounds. Far cry from the 12 pound bar that many years ago.
The truth though, is that if I had actually worked out three days a week for all these years like I did in the beginning, I would have been closer to squatting my  bodyweight. But, as Sheldon would say, "Could've, would've, should've, Raj!".

Once this realization hit me I promptly spent a couple of days moping around. I did not go to the gym for the following very viable reasons:

  1. I am going to look like a dork with my tummy getting to the gym three minutes ahead of the rest of me.
  2. None of my gym pants fit me the way they used to.
  3. My hair looks really, really messy and there is nothing I can do about it. (seriously, sometimes it just is that way!)
  4. I can't find my water bottle.
When I hit reason number four, I was struck by the ridiculousness of my excuses. Sometimes jet lag is good. If you don't feel hungry when the rest of the world is eating, then you have the gym all to yourself! So, fortified by a bowl of yogurt and grapes, I hit the gym.

Here is what I did:
  • Warm up on the elliptical
  • Squats: 115 lbs
  • Bulgarian squats: 15 lbs
  • Low, seated, cable row: 63lbs total (yay! I can use my right arm. Has my elbow finally healed?)
  • Bicep curls: 12 lbs per arm (carp mon!)
  • Seated, upright flyes: 20 lbs per arm
  • Seated, upright chest presses: 20 lbs per arm
  • Some stability work -- stiff arm pull downs
  • Planks (good old planks)
  • Russian twist with dumbell: 35lbs
  • Stability ball hamstring work
  • Shalabhasan
  • 20 minutes on the elliptical-- this would have to be the first ever. Thank you, sound track of Rang de Basanti!
It's a start. Question is, will I manage to make this a regular thing, or am I going to slip back to my slacker ways?

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varsha tiwary said...

You know you have a way with words ?
Question is whether you will keep getting up each time you stumble :)

Agnija Bharathi said...

Yes, to rise or not to rise, that is the question! And thank you, thank you! :)