Tuesday, 14 June 2011

My battles with food and flab

Before coming to Uni, I had one small expectation from it that I never dared to tell anyone. LOSE WEIGHT. I had heard stories of people losing weight drastically after being subjected to the notorious ‘hostel food’. Not that I was huge or anything, I just wanted to tone down. But apparently, there was another plan in store for me.

The first day, I find out that there is no ‘hostel food’ here. Ok, then what do I eat? Maybe I’ll have to cook myself. Then I’ll definitely lose weight! ‘Cause even I won’t eat the stuff I cook.
Unfortunately, there was another option, many options actually. I found out there is an international cafĂ© in the Student Association (SA) building, Which is, ‘International’. There is an Arabic corner which serves Pakistani/Indian food (think naan, chicken handi, Butter chicken), there was an Indian store which served Sri Lankan food(think Kothu!) and later was bought by the Pakistanis of the Arabic corner and converted into an international stall which served Mexican and Italian food. These two stalls, accompanied by a beverage counter which was owned by a Sri Lankan (and now by the Pakistanis from the Arabic corner.) make up the backside of SA. Wait, that doesn’t sound right…

Inside the SA, we have Western-Oriental stall, a Japanese corner a Malay counter and a Thai counter.
So during my first few weeks here everything was hunky-dory…Morning I’d wake up thinking which new delicacy I’d try out. By noon I’d be hogging a ‘Garlic double cheese naan’ and dinner would be Pizza with friends. Little did I realize that in approximately a month all these ‘delicacies’ will take their revenge on me by bonding with my body. Oh but in some areas the size did decrease- Like my wallet size. Eating at the Arabic corner everyday proved to be too expensive. If I continued eating there I might have ended up washing dishes to pay for the food.
So I decided to switch the Sri Lankan counter. One dish that immediately scored with me was Chicken Kothu Roti. It is made of shredded paranthas and minced chicken with roasted onions and chillis…and is just amazing. One of my friends informed me that in Sri Lanka they like this dish so much that they even have a song dedicated to it!

Kothu is also popular in Tamil Nadu. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t come across it in India.
So for a few days it was kothu for me all day and all night long. After some time my friends started complaining that I smelt of Kothu. Actually no, they just couldn’t see me putting another spoonful of it in my mouth. And I admit, I got tired of it.

So it was time to switch again. This time I decided to try out the food stalls inside SA. So I started frequenting the Malay counter. The dish that caught my fancy? Mee Goreng. It’s fried noodles. It’s quite delicious and makes a good meal. But no one told me that if you eat it every day you are going to inflate.

So there I was with a few more pounds packed on me. I started following the usual route which people who have gained weight and are too lazy to do anything about it do- Wear LOOSE clothes. So even though I looked like I like wearing curtains and bed sheets, I no longer looked, ahem, plump.
(No.not in these kind of curtains.)

 This went on for a few weeks until my cheeks started getting…Plump. Now I had only two options left-
·         Wear a mask
·         Exercise

I did consider the first option for a long time, but something told me that taking that course of action will alarm the students and staff of the University of Nottingham.
So unwillingly I started going to the gym. Thankfully I had a bunch of loyal friends to join me while working out as they were also getting, ahem, plump. :D

The first day, I went all dressed in my handy LOOSE gym clothes. I stepped on the treadmill and pressed the level option. ‘Uphill’- no. ‘cardio’- no. ‘pikes peak’- what the hell is that?!. ‘Weight loss’- Aha! Come to mama! So, very optimistically, I started on it, smiling-totally determined, aiming to jog for 20 mins. After a few seconds the smile disappeared- Straight face. The straight face then morphed into a frown. And in 5 minutes you had a 5’7 plump sweaty girl who looked like she was, ermm… ‘not used to exertion.’
OK that was not good. I needed to try something easier but which will help me reduce weight instantly. I scanned the gym and my eyes stopped on the cycle. Now, I have always loved cycling. As a kid I used to spend hours cycling around our colony with my friends. I even chipped my tooth while I was trying to impress no one in particular while trying to cycle hands free. Wait, I wasn’t supposed to reveal that. Anyway, ‘cycling it is!’ I thought. So I started cycling and all was going pretty well when I see a girl, half my size, pedalling away to glory. Watching her made me tired.
I gave up.

But then, the next day, I thought why not try it again. So again I went to the gym. I braved the treadmill. I jogged, but this time I set some realistic goals. I worked out for about an hour. And, I FELT SO GOOD! There is something about exercising that releases some sort of positive energy in you. Since then my friends and I have become a common (and slightly unpleasant?) sight at the gym.
Will I lose weight? Only time and my ability to persist at it can tell.

What about you? Any weight loss techniques that worked for you? (If you are ‘plump’ that is :D) And yeah don’t tell me ‘Reduce food’. That’s one of my passions!
This post might seem completely random, but it’s something I have wanted to write about from a long time. But again, I thrive on randomness!