Sometime in November last year, a few months after I had turned 40, I looked at myself and felt dissatisfied about my health & fitness. I had been dissatisfied for a long time, but it felt like I had reached my threshold by Nov 2021.
Nutrition – Lifestyle
I signed up for a 3 month nutrition program at QuaNutrition and drastically reworked my nutrition. I never used to even think of what, when and how much I ate. My new nutrition plan at QuaNutrition required me to pay close attention to quantities, time and variety. It was a steep learning and lifestyle curve, but my family made it as easy for me as possible. My wife and son supported me in every bit of nutrition choices I was beginning to make.
Based on the advise I received from QuaNutrition, I now have a fairly set diet chart.
- I drink something vitamin (Alovera Juice, Amla Juice, Lemon Water, etc) as soon as I get up
- 30 minutes later, 5 soaked and peeled badam and two dates.
- Go out for a 75 min workout, with a bottle of soaked chia seeds which I sip and finish by the time I come back from workout.
- Soon as I get back, I drink a glassful of sattu water. Sometimes I mix hemp seeds powder in it.
- After taking bath, I have breakfast with 1 tea spoon of flax seeds. My breakfast has some sprouts in it always.
- Around 11:30, I eat some fruits and a mix of sunflower+pumpkin seeds (1 tea spoon)
- Around 1:30 I have lunch. Salad first and then rice/dhal or chapati/dhal + some vegetable. All measured portions.
- Around 3:30, one Brazilian nut and about 15 raisins.
- Around 5:30, some snack (khaara, sprouts bhel etc.) Followed by a flavour of green-tea some 30 min later.
- I make it a point to finish dinner before 8 PM. Again salad first, everything else later.
- Pudina tea and walnut around 9:50 PM, which is roughly an hour before I go to bed.
Once in a week, I let it all loose and indulge in a cheat meal. Pizza, Burger, you name it. Although in the recent months, I have come to prefer the classic banana leaf meal more than anything non-South-Indian.
Now, this whole nutrition thing is a lifestyle change. That means that I pack my superfoods (fruits, dry-fruits, seeds etc..) if I am going out for a meeting. I prioritise my eat-stops more than the meeting itself. I excuse myself when its time to eat. Then I go eat what I have to happily and then get back to the meeting. Nobody has found this odd or has even questioned me. Everybody has been supportive. If I have to travel and I find myself in a place where it is difficult to get my choice of food, I fallback to a healthy salad for dinner. Just salad, nothing else. If even that’s not available, then I prefer sleeping hungry rather than load myself with junk.
Workout – Lifestyle
Additionally, I took on regularly working out along with my nutrition program. It’s been one year since I started the new nutrition and workout lifestyle, the longest I have stuck with something.
Started off in Nov 2021, with 30 min walk + 10 min of stretches per day, except on Sundays. I continued doing that for 5 months until end of March 2022. Just walk and stretches, nothing else.
In early April 2022, I started cycling thrice a week. Continued walking for other three days. Moved my off-day to Monday. So Tue, Thu, Sat were walk days. Wed, Fri, Sun were Cycling days. Started with a 7km circuit. These days, during the weekdays I cycle around 15kms. On Sunday, I go atleast 25kms, sometimes up to 40 also. I hope to do an intercity ride (to Mysore, 130 kms) sometime next year.
Starting July, I replaced my walk days with Gym. As of last week, I completed 50 sessions at the gym, each lasting about 1 hour. This is the most regular I have ever been at the gym. Cycling and gym together, I burn about 550 kcal per day working out.
Here are the results. I have gone from being 88kgs to 67kgs. That’s 21 kgs down in about a year, not bad. My waist size has reduced from 39 to 32 inches.
I began to track Vo2 Max, only because my Apple Watch would track it on the Health app. I then looked it up and found out that I had an abysmally low Vo2 Max of 28 in Nov 2021. Now it reads 37. I still have another unit to go before I can safely count myself as someone with a healthy Vo2 max reading.
My visceral fat has gone down from 17.5kgs to 7.5kgs. Along with that comes a whole bunch of other goodies. My resting heart rate was 80 last year. Now it has come down to 61.
I bought a Karada Scan for measuring BMI, Muscle and Fat mass. BMI was 30.1 in Nov 2021, now its 23. Fat stood at 34%, now its at 23.5%. Muscle was 27.5%, now its 32.5%. I still have some more distance to cover before I can just about step into healthy zone, but its all heading in a good direction as of now. But the stat that I relish the most is that my body age was 58 in Nov 2021. Now its 37. I am actually 41.
|Resting Heart Rate
Results that matter more
Surely, the stats paint a good progress card. But I want to keep those aside. What I truly savour as results are these.
I like how light the body feels now. Its an absolutely fantastic feeling to be able to not only fit into clothes that I had bought more than 11 years ago, but find them ‘loose’ right now. Yes, I had stocked old clothes in a vaccum bag, just in case I ever slimmed down. I turns out, those clothes are useless now because they are very loose.
I like how I can just hop on my cycle and go off hopping from one lake to another, spend about 20 min at each lake and soak in the visual beauty in and around Mysore Road, while covering about 35kms in about 3 hours. I am actually considering to go out on treks, something I would have actively avoided before. Small things, I know. But big deal for me.
I like the new-found social feedback. Its flattering. I dont want to act cool about it. I absolutely love it. For as long as I can remember, I was always related to as the “fat” one. For the first time in my life I am related to as a “fit” one.
All the gym workout and cycling has left me with a deeper connection with my body. I am surely more aware of my body that I have ever been. A few weeks ago, I felt a little bit of uneasiness within. I couldn’t pin point what exactly it was, but I was feeling that something was off. The next day I told my wife that I was probably going to catch fever or cold or both. Externally though, everything was perfect. No temperature. No symptoms of cold either. But sure enough a good five days later, I caught both. Because I was feeling it coming, I had kind of prepared myself for it. I had finished up important work and made space to just be with it. Two days of resting later, when I woke up I knew that it was all gone. Although externally, I was still appearing a bit sick. I just got up and went about my day, I even resumed my workouts. It was all fine. For the first time ever, I feel rather well connected with my body.