So This One Time When I Went On A Slow Carb Diet (For 7 hours)

Yes. That’s the longest I could last. I think it doesn’t help that I don’t eat meat or eggs.  Kind of makes ingesting protein really hard.  But there’s a bigger issue at hand here.  I think every woman, from Twiggy to Priyanka Chopra, has had (at some point in life) body issues.  I think any woman that says they never had is a liarface and I never want to speak to them again.  Unless they are some sort of Zen Buddhist enlightened monk or something.  Then it’s fine.  But for the rest of us mortals. UGH. BODY ISSUES. UGH.

I think for the longest time I just ignored them.  And by ignored them I pretended everything was fine but then I would exercise like crazy and eat practically nothing.  I was an awesome size 4 this is true.  But then those headaches were a bitch.  I’m just saying.  Not doing that again.

Also I think this idea of “healthy” is such crap.  What does that mean anyway? If you go to the guy at Golds Gym he’ll tell you that 18% bodyfat is obese so you being your 25% bodyfat self has no hope (Yes, this happened when I was in college and I basically yelled at him and asked for his education credentials and said douchey things like Google is smarter than you what am I paying you for).  If I go to the doctor, they say everything is fine.

 

BUT I DON”T FEEL FINE PEOPLE.  This is the problem.  At least I know how I feel. And I don’t feel fine.  I feel lazy and lethargic and I used to get up in the morning ready to go but now I”m like…ugh.  UGH.  Le sigh.

And also, I HATE CLOTHES SHOPPING.  Because what are you supposed to buy? Are you supposed to buy things that fit you RIGHT now? Because I mean, I hope I don’t stay like this for hundreds of years, but at the same time who knows how long this will be so….what. Do I just drop a few hundred dollars to buy the clothes that fit me now? Should I just buy baggy clothes that can fit me at any size? Should I just put off buying clothes at all until the day I feel happy with all of this?

Can I just say – side note.  Indian clothes are great because most of them use drawstrings so it doesn’t matter what your waist size is, THE SAME PANTS WILL FIT THEY ARE AMAZING.

Ok back to my rant about clothing.  Le sigh. I’m tired of ranting too. I think I have to go back and figure out…how to reconsile the fact that this is my body and I”m not getting another one, and it’s actually not so bad, but I need to know how to service it and do all the scheduled maintenance and stuff on it.  It did not come with an instruction manual. That would have made things a lot easier.

Dear God. In your next iteration of humans, can you insert an RFID chip that basically serves as an instruction manual for service and maintenance on this body that we inhabit? That would be super helpful. K. Thanks.

 

 

 

Fat

I’ve recently come to the sad realization that I used to starve myself.  Starve may be exaggerated, and it was not on purpose and not in very obvious ways, but I think my deepest fear was that I would not be thin.  And I would unconsciously do things in the name of “health”.  Namely, I would not eat enough.  The fact that I have always been super lazy when it comes to food doesn’t help. But if there wasn’t a healthy option around (read: most of the time) I would wait until I got home and eat something (again, probably not enough).  The only reason I even noticed this was because I fell sick this week, and I noticed that I had not been sick in a while.  I also noticed I am sleeping much better and I had far fewer headaches than I used to have.

Additionally, most people have been commenting on my weight gain.  I must say, I have gained weight in places I didn’t even realize I could gain weight.  I’m sure there’s more places that exist to gain weight in, but it’s just…very strange.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I just can’t go back to the way I (now realize I) was: Semi-starved, always something wrong, irritated, sleep deprived, and generally quite shitty.  If I had to pick weight gain or that, I pick weight gain.

Now the trick is to figure out how to eat enough AND go back to the way I was 6 months ago.  Just because that felt a lot better.  And I think that’s important too.  Feeling good about yourself.

It’s just going to be a lot lot lot harder than I ever anticipated.

I suppose I must go back to the drawing board.

Such is life.

Stress Ghosts and Posture

Have you ever seen that horror movie I forgot which one, but the American one that was a Japanese remake and at the end we realize the dude has a ghost sitting on his back the whole time? (Ok yes, maybe I just described every horror movie ever made ever).  But yes. That’s what I’ve realized my stress is.  A stress ghost, weighing down on my back.  I’ve named her Elvira.

Because as I was working out this morning and I was thinking about wow, how come my posture isn’t as good as it was a week and a half ago, it can’t be muscle deterioration already, and I realized Jesus.  It’s because I literally feel weight on my back. It takes actual effort to keep it straight because of the weight of the stress ghost.  It also constricts my breathing, not in a panic attack sort of way, but more in a, I know I’m not getting all the oxygen I can right now sort of way.  

Which is quite shocking when you think about it.  What other physical manifestations of stress are there in our lives that we don’t even know about?

Anyway. Damn you Elvira.

Stress Eating

I used to do this freshman year of college, quite a bit. It’s a really easy habit to slip back into, especially when unexpected stress hits you in the face.

Or for me, for some reason, I was so stressed out yesterday it felt like little evil elves were stabbing me in my eye sockets.  (Yes, that was the mental image I had all post 5pm).  And since I don’t believe in popping pills when I KNOW it’s stress related, and I had said, absolutely no going back to your 9 year old habit of going to the gym, instead of picking up the habit I was hoping I would (i.e. meditation), I went to my favorite ice cream store.  Or more accurately, since I live in Bangalore, I conveniently ordered some of my favorite ice cream to my house.

Except I decided to make it at least a little bit useful.  I said ok Anu. I’ll let you do this but you have to A/B test it (oh yes, because I’m a nerd like that).  I really really really just wanted the pain to go away and I said ok if the pain goes away with ice cream, then you win (you, Anu, the one who won’t do what the other more logical Anu wants). But if I win, then next time you’ll remember this and you’ll try the other coping mechanism I said you should have (i.e. meditation).

So I ordered my ice cream and lo and behold, the pain went away. For exactly 10 minutes. And then it came back, full force, but added about 10 more serial killer like elves who were really trying to rip apart my eye socket.

So instead of meditating, or eating more, I went to sleep. At 8:30pm.  And turns out, that worked great too. I got up this morning, and serial killer elves were gone.

I figure stress will keep coming back. But next time, I’m at least a bit more equipped to deal with it in a slightly more productive manner.

Also, PS, dear serial killer elves. I really dislike you. Please go away. I feel like you have presents to make before December or something.

Good Workout Decisions: Throwing Numbers Out The Window

It’s been 18 days of working out, 3 days since I threw numbers out the window, and today, I finally had a workout breakthrough.  I realized as I was walking home that man, my posture is significantly better than it was a few weeks ago.  And you KNOW when you have good posture (which is very few moments in your life, if you’re anything like me).  And I was like…man.  I feel really really good about this.  And I thought some more, and I realized at work I sit up straight in my chair because…I JUST WANT TO.  It’s so bizarre.  But it’s true.

And of course, all habit theory tells you that you need some sort of hook in order to keep the habit going.  You need something visible that’s important to you, like an early win, to help you keep doing the habit you’re trying to build.  And today, that moment came.  For me, it’s posture.  It’s something I would have never thought would be something that changed so significantly so fast, but man.  I’m totally digging it.

A few personal realizations:

  • Daily 30 minute workouts: Improves posture/build muscle
  • Eating differently: Reduces weight
  • Meditation/breathing: Calms my mind
  • Sleep: There’s no point in living if I don’t get enough sleep. Seriously.

So for now, all I’m trying to do is exercise daily (improve my posture/build muscle), meditate (calm my mind), and sleep (because I can’t survive without it).  And I think I’m doing decently at those things.

The whole eating differently is another can of worms and I am SO not equipped to tackle that yet.  But I guess that’s ok.  As long as I know I’m not trying to change that yet, and I’m not beating myself up over it then I think it’s fine.

I think I’ll tackle that beast next quarter.

(And in case you were wondering, yes, I think of my life in fiscal cycles).

Workout Vanity Metrics

For the first time in my life (or at least as long as I can remember), I can finally sympathize with every woman who hates her body.  It’s this insane nagging at the back of my head that won’t go away.  And it’s incredibly unproductive.

But after two weeks of observation, I think I can finally pinpoint why.  In the startup world there’s these things called Vanity Metrics.  In regular people terms, they are numbers that you think you should be caring about, but really you’re missing the point. because they sort of don’t matter  I have decided that until you’ve really figured out your routine, weight/body fat percentage are vanity metrics.  Because looking at them daily does way more harm than good.

So as of today, I’m throwing out the quants.  Let me rephrase that.  I’m not looking at it every day.  Mostly because, like in any business, you have to figure out what metrics you want to hit and what are best for your business.  If your business is like a lot of other businesses out there, then it is more straightforward.  Look at another company that’s successful, see what numbers they are hitting, and try to emulate.  The problem with bodies and people is that no two people are the same. WE CANNOT DO THAT IN THIS CONTEXT.  And that’s what we’ve been trying to do.  Even at NextDrop, we’ve been trying to do that, and it makes no sense because we’re not like most companies.  You just have to drive growth, and you have to figure out what drives growth for you. And then once you’ve figured it out, you try to accelerate it.

And the whole point of growth accounting is to create systems that make sense for you.  We’re doing that at NextDrop now, and for me personally I need to do that for my physical health.  And for me, right now, the quants are just not helping.  I think I need to focus more on how I feel about things.  Mostly because…it makes the most sense to me right now.  I can’t explain it but…I think it’s the right thing to do.

That’s about it.  Checking back in a month or two to see how things are.

Your Body Is A Temple, My Body Is A Temple, Too Bad None Of Us Go To Church #Fitness

Isn’t it funny? That expression?  I mean, does anyone you know still regularly go to church? Or temple? (Not by force, by choice I mean).  I could be wrong, but I feel like that meant a lot more maybe 20 years ago.

Because I think we treat our bodies like absolute shit.  Usually.  On purpose too.  We’re mean to it, we don’t treat it right, we starve it, sleep deprive it, work it until it can’t work anymore.  I mean would you do that to Jesus? Or Krishna? Or Buddha? Or whatever temple you believe in? If your body really is a temple, most of us are downright sacrilegious.

Food for thought.

Anyway, I realized a few things after taking a break from exercise:

  • Zumba is my favorite form of cardio. Hands down.  It also doubles as a leg sculpting workout if you have the right instructor.  Which I found today. Yay.
  • Yoga is NOT for cardio, so skip the power yoga.  It’s really frustrating if you try to make it double for cardio.  You’re never happy, which..sort of defeats the purpose of yoga.  I like hatha yoga and how it lengthens/stretches your body, and I think it’s important.  It makes me sweat, but it also elongates.  I have no proof of this, but I think it releases tension stored in the muscles. In my head it does at least.
  • Weights are still awesome, but I can’t figure out how to build it into my rotation. I may just focus on arms and abs for weights and let Zumba and yoga work my legs. Maybe. My problem is that I usually either get to do something in the evenings with people or work out.  So…tough call.

Anyway, getting back on the proverbial fitness horse.  It feels pretty good, not gonna lie.

Non Judgemental Workouts

I have a pretty rocky relationship with my body.  It’s somewhat schizophrenic and/or bipolar, because it goes from I LOVE YOU to OH GOD EW (and pretty much everything in between).  Which kind of doesn’t make sense, because there’s no possible way I’ve actually changed within the span of 55 minutes (yes, sometimes it just takes that long to swing from one thought to the next- kind of like Tarzan, only less muscular and more mean).

Point is, I think we’ve (ok I can only speak for myself) I’VE been conditioned to be my own worst enemy when it comes to the way I feel about myself.  Do I work out because I genuinely enjoy it? Is it for health reasons? Or is it secretly for fear of…the F word (FAT ok there I said it, DON’T MAKE ME DO IT AGAIN).

And at the end of the day, does it even matter why I work out?

I used to think it didn’t because hey, isn’t the result the same? Good things overall? But recently, I’ve realized it actually does matter.  Or at least it matters to me.  Something that can actually be amazing and wonderful can change into nothing short of Siberian torture (ok I just made that word up but I feel like Siberians must have great torture techniques, that involve a lot of ice- YES I JUST GOOGLED IT!).

I mean, the psychological torture you go through when you think your self worth is linked to doing this thing called “working out” is just absolutely insane.  And I don’t think it’s worth it anymore.

So now I’m…starting from the beginning.  I am actually trying to get rid of my workout habit and make a new one.  I.e. yesterday, even though I was itching to go to the gym, I didn’t.  I sat down and thought about why I wanted to go instead.  And if it was for reasons other than…something resembling oh that would just be nice, I didn’t go.  Turns out it wasn’t.  So home I stayed.

Because what’s the point of having a habit that also doubles as a curse?  I don’t know, sounds like a bad deal to me. I’m opting out.

So now, I’m looking forward to this mental map relinking: One that doesn’t connect my self worth to my body fat percentage.

Lets see how this one plays out.

Dream a Little Dream: Part II

It’s that time again when I go after something that I really want to be doing.  Only to be mildly disappointed.  It’s not exactly disappointed but more…ok.  That’s cool. I’m doing this thing. Now what?

I’ve always wanted to take more intense dance courses, and now that I”m doing it, I really wonder why I’m doing it.  I mean it’s great because I’m learning a lot, but at the end of the day, what am I trying to do here?  I spend about 20 hours a week on dance.  Which really cuts in to the pretty minimal personal time I used to have.  Oh and there’s this thing called sleep.  Sometimes I forget that exists.  And I was just getting to the point where I was learning to enjoy eating food- and not just wishing I could inject it like a heroine junkie.

I think what really kills me is that I was just getting into a good routine with work and everything else.  And the minute that starts going well, I feel the need to introduce this new thing into the mix.  Because otherwise that would be too easy.  Life would be too easy.  I can’t be comfortable. No way.  That’s not allowed.

So now that my life is crazy again, I have to find what works for me so I don’t feel on edge all the time.

Only to change it again in another 3 months when these classes end.

Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing with my life.

(And by sometimes, I mean at least 3-7 times a week).

Learning to Breathe

I’ve been reading more about this, and I found out that most of the world’s population breathe incorrectly.  Which I am almost positive includes me.  I have realized that I don’t even know how to breathe right.  (I’ve been Googling it and it’s still hard to figure it out- oh wait, yup, this article pretty much confirms it, I suck at breathing.  But probably going to do more digging and ask professionals, because I’m a nerd like that).

But it makes you wonder.  If you don’t even know how to do the most basic function of LIFE correctly, what else are we unconsciously doing sub-optimally?  What else are we doing that we don’t even know could be better?  It’s crazy right?

I’m beginning to think it’s all the little things that we can slightly alter about our most basic routines and functions we perform on a daily basis (the unsexy stuff essentially) that has the biggest impact on our lives.

And at a higher level, I am beginning to think that’s how life works.  Most of the time, change starts with doing something super basic many times over to create powerful habits that really make huge positive changes in our lives.