What-the-fuck & Low carb diet

What-the-fuck!

I am sure everyone – almost everyone – of us must have had used this expression at least once. It’s that moment when we scan ourselves – in front of the mirror or in a digital image shot by a camera or in an internal image shot inside our head – and not happy with what we see, we say with a big sigh – ‘what-the-fuck I’ve done to myself.’

It happened to me in May of 2015.

Isha and I had just returned to Singapore from our home in India after long three weeks. Isha was reading some article on her iPad and I was changing my clothes. As I removed my vest, she looked at me and shook her head with a smile and a little frown between her eyebrows. She didn’t speak anything. But it was enough to made me observe at myself in the mirror. ‘What-the-fuck I’ve done to myself’ was the expression.

I don’t want to get into the details of explaining that image I saw because of obvious reasons.

The best part of this ‘what-the-fuck’ expression is that it’s more often than not strong enough to get us started in a right direction. It inspires us for a positive change.

The Four Hour Body

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And so I started looking for diet plans for myself. I read a lot of articles, consulted my dietician cousin but what actually stuck me was a book by Timothy Ferris: The Four Hour Body. Maybe because of it’s a catchy name. The more I read about this book and about the author, the more inspired I felt.

This book is not only about dieting. It is about complete health: diet, exercise, physical stamina, etc. However, I’ve used it only for diet. So far.

Low-carb diet

Diet

It explains low-carb-high-protein diet. It is not a new concept after all but the way this book explained inspired me to follow it.

In short, it says NO to anything white except eggs. It says, everything white has carbs, so we shouldn’t eat them.

No sugar, no wheat, no bread, no brown bread (it is actually white), no rice, no milk, no potatoes, and for some reason no fruits or fruit juices (even though they are not white). The author explains medical/ scientific details for every point he mentioned in the book but I didn’t bother myself with those details. I simply followed.

Measure and Record 

The second important thing is to measure weight every day in the morning before breakfast and measure size (chest, waist, hips, biceps and thighs) every week and maintain all the records in a journal.

My daily diet

I started on 22nd May. I weighed 74.5 Kg.

8:00 am: Two eggs (boiled, scrambled, omelette, etc.) – within an hour of waking up.

10:30 am: One vegetable salad portion (carrot, cucumber, tomatoes – though not white but allowed)

12:30 am: One big bowl of lentils or beans

4:00 pm: One big bowl of lentils or beans

6:30 pm: Something full of protein such as stir fried green peas (optional)

9:00 pm: One big bowl of lentils or beans

Binge day

Now, this is the best part, probably the reason I was inspired to give this diet plan a try (apart from book’s name). One day in a week, it allows (in fact encourages) to have a cheat day to savor anything on the earth you want to eat or wanted to eat in last 6 days in this diet. It also encourages to keep making note of stuff you desire to eat during the diet days and then eat all of them on this cheat day.

I chose Saturday as my binge day.

Result

I followed diligently for 40 days, maintaining records of each day. On 28th June, I weighed 68.6 Kg. I’d lost 6 Kg. All my shirts looked better fitted and all my trousers went loose. It was an exciting feeling. My friends also noticed this change.

And then Hong Kong happened. I took a week break for my Hong Kong vacation but never went back to that diet routine. Eventually, in last six months, I gained all my 6 Kg back.

Sighed. What-the-fuck I’ve done to myself… again!

Give it another shot

I am determined to resume this diet plan from around mid-Jan once I get settled in my new place. And, I am confident it will work for me as effectively as it did last year.

Cheers!

Image courtesy:
http://www.wikiihealth.com/
http://fourhourbody.com/

My readings for 2016

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Recently, I turned 33. Assuming the best case scenario that I am reading till 75 years of my age leaves me with 42 years of reading i.e. 504 months. This means that with my current reading pace of one book a month, I can read ~500 books in my remaining lifetime.

Isn’t this revealing? I’ve to either choose my readings carefully or increase my pace. Probably both.

Well, here is the list of my readings for 2016.

Non-Fiction

Zero to One by Peter Thiel

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S Clason

How to have a Beautiful Mind by Edward de Bono

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Fiction

To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (again)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (again)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling

 

Image Courtesy: http://www.konnectafrica.net/

On New Year 2016 Eve, I Promise to Myself

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New Year is all about new hopes. To start new innings. To make new promises. To shape our lives better than before. And to believe in the possibilities unlimited.

As 2016 dawn upon us, with new hopes and firm beliefs, I promise to myself.

Exercise: My biggest goal in 2016 to shed extra fat and get into a leaner body. I promise to myself to do running, cross-fit exercise and yoga on alternate days, five days a week.

Healthy diet: I promise to myself to say a big NO to all the junk I eat like chocolates, cheese, nachos, beer, etc. But for all practical reasons I am going to keep one cheat day a week to fully surrender myself to my taste buds. This actually works – I tried this for 40 days in 2015 and I lost 6 kg. Read about my experience here.

Reading: I read 10 books in 2015. I promise to myself to read 15 books in 2016.

Writing: I wrote 2 short stories (2500 words each) in 2015 as a part of Write India contest campaigned by TOI. I promise to myself to write two blogs every month in 2016.

Family: I promise to myself to spend more time than I did last year with my family and friends, and make more beautiful & everlasting memories with them.

Consulting/Product Management: I promise to myself to master consulting/product management skills in 2016.

Wish you all a very Wonderful and Promising New Year 2016!!!

The books I read in 2015

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I am not an avid reader by any measure. I am more like a sporadic one. I have my phases with books. At some point, I am always reading a book and other times the book keeps lying on my side table and I don’t even look at it; 70% it’s latter.

Despite of that I always love being around books. I can spend hours in a book library or a book store – flipping through different books and taking their pictures to buy kindle edition later. Even while waiting for my flights at airports, I mostly find myself drifted towards the book store. It’s like a therapy that leaves me in a blissful mental state. May be some genes from my grandparents who have a great collection of books at our home and are avid readers – they both read everyday.

In the beginning of 2015, I decided to read one book every month for the entire year. And I am glad to have ‘almost’ completed my resolution, falling short by two books. I know it’s not a lot of reading, but something is better than nothing. It’s far from an avid reader category but it’s regular at least. And I’ve learned that good habits develop not by measure but by consistency. So let me be proud of this little accomplishment and check out the books I read in 2015:

  1. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
  2. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
  3. The 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss
  4. The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
  5. Business Model Generation by Osterwalder and Pigneur
  6. Focus by Daniel Goleman
  7. Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin
  8. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  9. In The Plex by Steven Levy
  10. Autobiography Of A Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda
  11. Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan (read 25%)

I am working on my list of books to read in 2016; target is 15 books. And Isha is planning to buy me a Kindle Voyage. So, that would be more fun!

And do let me know the books you read in 2015.

Cheers!

 

 

 

Among Chetan Bhagat’s Top 10 winners!

So excited and glad to see my name among Top 10 winners of Write India contest for Chetan Bhagat’s story. It was totally unexpected which makes it more joyful :)

Thank you Isha for reading and rereading and brainstorming and revising the story. Thank you Sonal and Monisha Maasi for proof-reading and editing it.

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Why we stick more to public commitments?

I failed every time when I planned to change my routine to get up early and to start eating low carbs. And I tried several times. Then I shared my plan with my family and friends. It’s been two months now. I am regularly getting up early and consistently eating low carbs. I didn’t fail this time. Why?

We are social animals. We do things that people would accept and avoid things that people would reject. We seek social approvals. We care what others think of us and our actions. We crave for appreciations and run away from embarrassments.

Also, we love consistency. Once we make commitment, we want to stay consistent. And the more our commitment is public, the more likely we would stay consistent.

Social animals stick to their public commitments to avoid embarrassments, you see.

So, try public commitment – make it, share it and get stick to it!