Monthly Archives: August 2012

Don’t put up with nonsense.

Say you’re ready for a post paid cell phone connection. You look into the available service providers and compare what each one has to offer. Some are more expensive than the others while some are more useful to you than the others. You read up details on the plan, pricing etc., and find one that you think is best suited for your needs. You pay up. Get your SIM card. Load up your trusted smart-ass phone. You’re ready to rock n roll!

Once you start using the service, you realize that calls drops pretty often. You don’t think much of it ‘cos you talk when you drive and there seems to be no real pattern to call dropping. Then you realize that your internet is spotty. You’re unable to send emails with any attachments. Slowly, you realize that not all your messages are being delivered and that you’re not getting your emails on time on the phone.

You try talking to customer service, but other than using phrases you’ve always wanted to use, like “Put your supervisor on the line!” and “Are you kidding me??!”, nothing much comes out of it.

Initially, you make do. You adjust. You find work-arounds. Kind of like being lazy to fix the time on your clock but knowing how fast or slow it is and ‘calculating time’ each time. You don’t send out emails at specific times, you are always ready for dropped calls, you use the internet as much as you can when it is available etc. But eventually you need to understand what is actually happening.

The service that you subscribed to and pay for, is not working for you. And what do you need to do when such a situation arises? You need to man the f**k up and fire that service provider and find a new one. Simple common sense right? I mean, why would you ever want to continually pay for something that is clearly not working for you? If you’re paying for a service to help you accomplish certain tasks (in this case, being connected) and if it doesn’t work for you, you fire that service and find something else that works. No-brainer right?

So then, please tell me why you stay on a training program that doesn’t give you the results you desire? Why work with a trainer who doesn’t deliver what he/she promises? Why donate money to a gym for years and years when you either don’t use it or get no results out of it? When you find out that what you’re doing isn’t working for you, isn’t time to make a change? To find something that truly works for you?

So here is what you need to do – Look at yourself or your performance today and compare it to data (photos, numbers etc.) from a few weeks/months/years ago. If your goal was to get better (stronger or faster or leaner or healthier) and if you haven’t gotten any better, you’re only getting worse. Not everything works for everyone. But something works for everyone. And it is on you to find your something.

So, stop being lazy and don’t put up with nonsense anymore. Be adamant about wanting the best. Be diligent in finding the best. Be religious about working with the best. Become your best.

Adios.

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Is it all in the head?

You fail to see beauty in something, anything, once you understand it. So it the case with paranoia. You stop being afraid of something, anything, once you understand it. This applies to food as much as it applies to God and the devil.

Pretty cool line huh? Who came up with it? I did! And yea I know. I’m pretty awesome like that. Ok now, let’s talk about something you don’t know.

Back when I used to chronically diet…

… I was always on one diet or the other. In other words, there was always some food group I’d not eat. During the good old whole wheat days, I’d eat everything in whole wheat from bread to cereal to roti to naan to lavash bread to pita bread to pasta and hardly eat any fat whatsoever. I’d stay away from ghee like it was demon’s piss, shun cheese like it was illegal and fatty cuts of meat didn’t even exist in my food dictionary!

Then when I learnt more about nutrition and that fats were good and (thought) carbs were the devil, my idea of foodtopia (see what I did? Again, pretty awesome like that!) went from wheat-ville to lowcarb-asylum. I’d eat about 1-1.5lb of fatty meat and 2-3 lb of green veggies everyday in addition to cream and cheese and butter and macadamia nuts. I stayed away from wheat like it would clog up my respiratory tract and bananas were off limits ‘cos they were nothing more than yellow colored candy bars and chose cream over milk ‘cos milk was a carb source!

It’s amazing how things have changed in the last few years after I started doing more self-experimentation and began reading more unbiased literature (as opposed to reading strictly within the whole wheat or paleo or low carb circle, depending on which phase I was on), but here is something interesting.

Let me first say that I used to be the epitome of clean eating. Will power and motivation flowed so seamlessly like swear words out of a hookers mouth. Nothing could break me. I had no temptations and no one could ever convince or lure me into eating something I hadn’t planned on eating unless, of course, I’d already factored it into my ‘eating plan’. But I observed something.

When I did eat strictly low fat (and whole wheat), I’d eat sandwiches everyday and twice a day on many days. Even today, I’m a sandwich maniac and can eat one for every meal for the rest of my life, but living in a region where the best sandwiches are available at Subway, I don’t quite have that urge. Anyways, I remember I’d stand in line to order a sandwich and I’d know exactly what I wanted (whole wheat bread, lean meat, green veggies, mustard, fat free mayo yada yada)… except one thing – should I get the cheese or not? I loved and craved cheese (of course ‘cos I wasn’t “allowed” to eat it) but this question would confuse the shit outa me! I’d stand there in line letting people behind me go ahead ‘cos I’d never be able to make the call. Sometimes I’d get the cheese and sometimes I wouldn’t. When I did get the cheese, I’d love the sandwich but immediately after eating the sandwich, I’d “feel fat”. I’d literally feel like I had gained weight on my lower abdomen/belly area. And you know what guilt does… makes you want to compensate by doing some extra work or eating less for the next few meals. All this for a slice of cheese!

Funnily, when I was deep into low-carb dieting, the exact same scenario would happen when I a cup of rice or eat a banana or eat a meal which is even mildly high in carbs. The “feel fat” thing would pop up in my head which will lead to similar type of compensating.

And the gluten-free days weren’t an exception. Once slice of bread and boom! The next morning I’d feel like I had a “cannonball in my tummy” or like “I’m having trouble breathing well” or like “I’m feeling bloated” or like “I feel fatigued”.

But let’s look at the other side of the coin.

During my low-fat-all-whole-wheat days, I’d eat about 300g of carbs a day most of which was from wheat and didn’t get bombarded by cannonballs or continuously bloat to the point of explosion or feel so fatigued all day I couldn’t work. Heck, I have photos of myself with a prominent 6-pack and remember feeling so awesome I used to workout twice a day 6 days a week – that is 12 fairly intense sessions of physical activity per week with about 6hrs of sleep per day.

During my low carb days, cream, cheese and fatty meat were my main dish, side dish and dessert! My belly didn’t get bigger. Neither did I see the digits on my scale go up or any part of my oh-so-precious 6-pack fade even a little.

I’m more than sure you’ve been through or are going through the same or similar phases. So, you tell me, is it all in the mind? Is fat making you fat or are you just made to think that way? Are carbs fattening or is it that you don’t know any better? Are you truly allergic to gluten or are you just trying hard and finding the symptoms you are told you would experience?

Today, I am in a much better place…

… nutritionally.

Back then, I always was off something. Something was evil. At any point of time, I’d be “off” carbs or fat or gluten or something. Today, I eat everything. While I don’t stuff myself silly with junk food all day everyday, there is literally nothing I am “off” from.

Back then,  I always craved something or the other (probably ‘cos I was off something or the other). Today, I have no cravings whatsoever (definitely ‘cos I know nothing is off limits).

Back then, I was paranoid and, with a lot of focus and diligence, healthy and fit always looking for the next nutritional breakthrough. Today I am free and, with absolutely no conscious effort, healthy, fit and in peace not looking for the next big thing.

The truth is that science isn’t something you believe in. It is a fact. You either know it or you don’t. There is no anxiety in science. There is no guesswork. There is no maybe. There are only equations. You do the experiment (unbiased) and you get (real) results. Nothing more and definitely nothing less.

So are you making the effort to truly understand nutrition via unbiased research and self-experimentation or are you just jumping on and off the fad bus? Do share this post (buttons below) and let’s get this discussion started.

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