If you read my posts and watch my social media handles you are sure to know one of the highlights in my life in this extraordinary year 2020 was my fitness regime that shone like a beacon of hope. Prior to 2020, I was a 3-4 times a week gym going person. I never worked out very seriously, and would always prefer to wrap my blanket and get some sleep rather than dress up and show up at the gym. But for my daughter’s school, I had to wake up, get her ready and after dropping her off, head to the gym for I wasn’t sleepy any longer. But passion was the last thing driving me. It was more of a habit.
2020 brought about a sea change, the first few months after we were thrown unceremoniously into the work from home situation, I was still struggling to make sense of this new normal, manage my expectations at work, my daughter’s online classes and working out was the last thing on my mind. I would run occasionally and do lunges, squats which left me in pain for rest of the day. I started serious daily work outs in June and its been consistent ever since. I bought subscriptions to cure-fit online plans and this amazing app called “Seven” which has a host of workouts focussed on different muscles and parts of the body – each workout for 7 minutes- varying in intensity. I found it very effective and enjoyable.
I invested in a smart watch- had to go with Apple as I am a huge apple fan- with the I phone, I pod, I pad, Mac book! This would sync well – I was in a dilemma if I should be investing 40K in a smart watch. What if this is a temporary thing and I stop working out? This would be a waste. Should I go for something cheaper- even a Fitbit or Garmin would give me a lot at a much lesser price. I contemplated, researched, spoke to people, almost bought a basic Garmin watch and stopped myself as I read the “Cons”. I finally decided to go with Apple and what better occasion than my birthday to gift myself, So Apple 5 series 40MM in Rose gold it was which was quite a challenge to get at that time (I realised later that it went suddenly went off shelf on Amazon, Flipkart etc as Series 6 was going to be launched in less than 6 weeks) I am not going to feel bad for missing out on 6 series any longer as I love what I got and there will always be something swankier, and shinier. I am thoroughly help with my Series 5.
This couldn’t have been a better investment as it helped me keep up my fitness routine. Well it cant be entirely the watch for you could just snooze the reminders or shut off the notifications, its you ultimately who drives yourself to get off that couch and move your muscles.
In Apple you have three rings- The red one is for calories burnt, the green is for exercise and blue is for stands (you need to stand at regular intervals and walk around for a minute at-least). You can change your Goals for “Calories you want to burn, exercise minutes you want to achieve each day and number of stands per day”. You can also share your activity with friends who have an Apple watch and thus motivate each other to do better. There are monthly challenges apple throws at you such as close all your 3 rings 23 times a month or burn 15000 Kilo calories this month or exercise 1500 minutes which is 50 minutes a day during the month. As you complete these challenges you get rewards (stickers that glow on the watch) I managed to close all the Monthly apple challenges in 2020 since the time I bought the watch and boy this feels good!
I exercise roughly 27 days in the month and the only times I did not exercise and failed to meet my exercise and calories Goals was when I was not in the best of health (usually my first day of periods) and on rare occasions when I had to step out for some work and lost half of the day (even in those cases I made a feverent attempt to do some exercise and close my rings in the evening).
I found a few people, a blogger, someone at my work and an acquaintance who also had Apple watches and we started sharing our activity which worked well in knowing you may be working out in the confines of your home but you are not alone in your fitness journey. Sharing activity works in motivating you when you see others close their rings, for me the motivation was not so much at seeing others and get motivated as I am a strongly self motivated person but it was more of having a community to work out with.
Over time and its been more than 6 months of this journey, I have seen tremendous change in my body, resilience levels, outlook for the better. I have gotten fitter, stronger, the perfect abs are yet to come but I will get there one day.
Those know know me , know I love food. I don’t eat a lot but I love eating out, experimenting with various cuisines, restaurants and my favourite foods are not always that watch the scale. I have never eaten mindlessly but I havent given a great deal of thought too. But with the advent of my fitness journey I maintain much more restraint on fried foods, sweets and restrict myself through the week. On weekends too its a limited amount and once a day. This has helped my weight stay pretty steady on the scale.
When the pandemic started I was grappling with this sense of loss, being directionless- not having to follow my routine (I am a person who loves her routine and normal life), no waking , getting Angel ready for school, getting ready and going to work only to return at night, have dinner, watch a bit of Netflix and hit the bed- it felt like one long day with work to do for sure but it did feel like a new ocean and I wanted to be in my known pool to swim in. With fitness I learnt to swim in this new ocean each day with a purpose- close your rings, exercise, challenge yourself a bit more maybe today or this week or month, walk 10K steps, groove to some peppy numbers in your dance workout this Wednesday or focus on strength trainings today or Cardio and abs another day.
Thats not to say fitness bands and being a daily workout person is without its share of anxieties- yes you heard me right! All that shines is not bright, but the good news is there are ways of coping with the flip side of being a fitness enthusiast, I will cover this is another post as it justifies a post in itself.
Thats for another day, but today I need to get off the laptop and burn some calories, its no longer lazy Sundays.