thewilltoholdon

As I breathe and think and dream


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How to Battle the 5:2 Diet Hunger My Way

As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, I am doing the 5:2 diet. This is my second attempt. The first time I attempted it, I fell off the wagon after about 2 weeks as I found that having low energy towards the end of the day is disastrous when you have a toddler who expects you to run, jump and play with her. However due to reasons I won’t go into here (maybe in another blog), I am giving it another try.
Now fasting is not pretty. Having a gnawing feeling in your stomach can suck the joy out of your day. Yes, I know it is just 2 days out of 7. Still spending 28.6% of your life hungry is brutal. But now I think I have discovered an antidote to it all. Yes, Sir! Here I have made a revolutionary discovery that is going to change the way the world diets. Do you want to know what it is? Do you?
Shopping! This panacea to many ills works wonderfully well in the context of 5:2 diets. Today I went shopping in my lunch hour. Somehow going out for lunch with colleagues on a fasting day is not much fun. The sight of their yummy Yaki Udons, sausage rolls and gourmet baguettes is too much for me. And having a solitary lunch of a few cabbage leaves does not take much time. So today before tackling my paltry lunch, I slipped out of office and went to the large retail store nearby (one of the largest in the city). There I spent a blissful lunch hour browsing and trying on clothes. Near the end of my break, I emerged happy and $200 poorer. That flush from my retail therapy session was not just momentary – it has stayed well into the evening. I did not even feel the need to have that lunch and even in the evening, I was clear headed, focused and barely feeling the hunger pangs. Compare this to earlier fast days, when the evening would find me listless, slightly dizzy and completely energy depleted. I tell you, this is a breakthrough.
So now I know how to get through the tedious fast days. Of course, this means that by the time I have lost my targeted amount of weight, I will be a pauper. But a slim pauper, people!
P.S.- Online shopping , I find, does not work as well as physical shopping. Probably it does not engage the senses as much!

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Of Learning Curves

I have been a mom for nineteen months now (incredible!). I have survived the difficult first year – the sleepless nights, being used as a milk production unit, the dirty diapers, the tonnes of laundry. I would like to believe that these past nineteen months have toughened me up so much that I can take most things in my stride now (namely the meltdown in the supermarket aisle, the tantrums in the car, the puke on the best dress (hers and mine) on the way to the party, etc). But no – that was me being self delusional. In all honesty, I am still pretty clueless. However I am not as clueless as I was three, six or nine months ago and compared to my naive self nineteen months ago, I am a venerable Yoda now.
Each day I am learning something new as a mom. Well, that is good. I am not scared of learning. It is the teaching bit that gives me the heebie-jeebies. I am worried about the heaps of things that I will need to teach my daughter in the days and months to come. They are (in no particular order) –
1. How to brush her teeth (she screams bloody murder as soon as her toothbrush comes within a meter of her mouth).
2. How to chew her food properly before swallowing (Put in mouth-chew-chew-no, no! don’t spit out- swallow!)
3. How to use the loo in an adult fashion (Ooh, the all-important potty training!)
4. How to dress herself (yes, sweetheart, a hat goes on your head because… it just does!)
5. How to spell her name (why did I not name her Eve or Liv or Skye?!!)
6. How not to bite/scratch/push others – and yet not be a doormat
7. How to eat broccoli and spinach without complaining
8. How to fix breakfast for herself to give mummy and daddy a break on weekends
9. How to share her things with others (lovely sentiment – though as with most things in life, easier said than done)
10. How tie her shoe laces
11. How to color inside the lines (and not on the wall or… gasp.. the white couch!)
12. How to climb down the stairs (she can manage the climb up pretty well but loses nerve while trying to get back down)
13. How not to dig her nose in public
14. How to look this way and that before crossing the street
15. How to ride a scooter…. a tricycle… a bike
And … the list goes on and on. Now I am not a very good or patient teacher. And if truth be told, I myself struggle to remember to do some of the things on the list. So the idea of having to re-iterate these things a million time each to an independent and rebellious toddler seems like an uphill task. Why can’t kids come pre-programmed with the basics?


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Happy Weight Vs Unhappy Weight

I bought and read my first ever diet book yesterday. Many times in that book, the author refers to something that she calls ‘happy weight’. Sure I understand what she means – a weight that one can happily live with. However looking back on my life, there is a little bit of confusion. Some years back, I was at my slimmest (my personal adulthood best of 54kg). I felt good about stepping onto the scales and I could wear whatever I wanted to. But mentally I was at a really unhappy stage in my life then. Now I weigh 63kg. Weight wise I am pretty unhappy (hence the diet book!). I have love handles and bulges and have had to relegate most of my old clothes to the back of the wardrobe. However in all other spheres of life and in stark contrast to my earlier state of mind, I am happy now. So which one was/is my ‘happy weight’ – phase 1 of ‘Weight happy – Life unhappy’ or phase 2 of ‘Life happy – Weight unhappy’ ?
I am not dumb. I will take phase 2 over phase 1 any day. But I am a woman, there is no pleasing me and so I am now aiming for the elusive ‘Life happy – Weight happy’ state (if it at all exists!). Geez! There is really no such thing as a content woman, is there?


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Love Thy Baby

You know how all books, articles and forums talk about that moment during childbirth, when the new mom looks at her baby for the very first time and feels this overwhelming deluge of love. She feels that the baby in her arms was worth every ache and pain that she suffered for the last nine months and more. Swimming in oxytocin, she can feel love gushing out of every pore and she wants to move mountains, slay dragons and cook spag bol for her baby.
That IS what is supposed to happen. and I knew it would happen to me too. I had heard all the stories, read all the narratives and seen all the tender photos. Only it did not happen to me. I looked at my daughter for the first time. I felt relief that the ordeal was coming to an end (they were still stitching me up at the time). I felt some worry that the baby did not cry all that loudly when she made her entry into the world. I marveled at the fact that she had very long fingernails. I felt mild disgust that she was placed in my arms still caked with yucky stuff. I thought my husband should probably not be making the first call to family right at that moment (wasn’t serious medical stuff still going on?). I thought many things.
But where was that extraordinary rush of love and devotion? I did not feel all that and I was very conscious of not feeling that way. I felt cheated. I felt guilty. Where was the bloody oxytocin? Maybe the epidural had affected my brain along with my lower extremities. Ten minutes into momhood, I was already a failure.
It was only much later that I read an article that said, while 70% of women fall in love with their babies at the moment of childbirth, the other 30% take more time in bonding with their baby. So thankfully I am not the monster who lives in a crooked houses on legs and routinely stews sweet innocent babes for lunch. That is a relief.


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My Badge of Mediocrity

I always knew I was mediocre, average, unexceptional. And prone to self-pity, as you probably can tell. However it was still crushing to have my average-ness certified by a professional. We had this work traits review recently done by an allegedly well-known psychiatrist at work. I use the word allegedly not to malign the good doc but it is just that I don’t hob-knob in those circles and so I have no idea who is renowned or not. Anyways the survey results prove I am neither structured nor flexible but somewhere in the middle of the two. I am neither practical nor creative but somewhere in the middle. I am neither an introvert nor an extrovert but … yes, you guessed it… somewhere in the middle. And so on and so forth. The doctor asked people at the ends of the spectrum to narrate their experiences, their preferences and their troubles in making themselves understood. However I got asked nothing as stories of sane average people are unexciting.
Sigh! All this mediocrity is crushing me.


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My Body is Spinning

Last month I had a disastrous session with a personal trainer. Despite my telling him that I had been pretty slack on the exercise front for the last couple of years, he made me go through a number of gruelling circuits . Around midway into it all, I had give up. Or rather the trainer made me stop as he was probably scared that I would die and he would be banned from training forever! For the next couple of days, I was so sore that I could barely walk.
So it seems the personal training method which apparently has very good results is not for me. However I am a determined soul. Lose weight I will! So I have now started attending spinning classes at my gym. I had given spinning a try 3-4 years ago and found it uninspiring. This time however I find myself liking it quite a lot. Maybe a part of it is because I read it somewhere that a 45 minute spin class can burn up to 500 calories if you do it right. Also I have discoeverd a trick. Instead of focussing on the trainer barking out instructions like “Hill ahead” or “Race”, I try and lose myself in the music. If I close my eyes, it almost seems as though I am in a nightclub. So I am nightclubbing my way to fitness. How cool is that.


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Bad Mommy

Are we moms nasty, bigoted, mean? I would love to say no – but all evidence seems to point to the contrary.
1. Moms are judgmental – stay-at-home moms make snide remarks about working moms and vice versa; breast feeding moms look down their noses at formula moms.
2. Moms tend to fall over themselves trying prove that their offspring is extra special (‘Look, he is sitting up at 2 months”; ‘my DD crawled at four’; ‘she speaks 2 languages at 18 months’)
3. There seems to be a mad frenzy amongst moms to compete at all levels (better mom than her, more caring than her, my kid is more cute/intelligent/well-behaved etc) – at the daycare dress up day, on the soccer field, at the family gathering, amongst friends on Facebook. There is this relentless one-upmanship everywhere.
4. If you still have any doubts – trying reading the comments of any slightly controversial article on parenting (and almost every article is!) and you will find moms are intolerant. They have scant regard for beliefs for others and are full of themselves and/or their precious offspring.
Conclusion – We are not a nice breed. We wouldn’t normally be behaving this way about ourselves but somehow our kiddos seem to bring out our worst bits. Hmmmmm. A point to ponder on.