Choose lifestyle fitness as a way to healthy living
Welcome To CitySpidey


Choose lifestyle fitness as a way to healthy living

The role of diet is 70% while the role of workout is 30%

Choose lifestyle fitness as a way to healthy living

The year was 2010 and the month was April, I was holidaying with my family in Goa. The property in which we were staying was a beautiful resort in the south of Goa. Little did I know that on the last day,  my life was going to change forever.

It was a 4-day stay where I indulged heavily in snacking and drinks. On the morning of day 4, a day of our return back to Delhi, when I woke up I could sense that my belly muscles had flexed more, beyond my chest line and I was not able to see my feet while standing. My rounded belly was blocking my vision. I immediately rushed to the hotel gym for some strenuous cardio on Treadmill and Cross Trainer Elliptical thinking that I shall be able to shed all the extra calories that I’ve put on during my stay in Goa. The gymnasium was so built that it had mirrors on all the walls. What I saw in those mirrors left me scared to hell.

My belly was protruding out like a gas-filled balloon and reminded me of that ‘Gubarrey wale bhaiya’ who used to come selling those CO2-filled balloons and we used to joke ‘Bhaiya ka pet aur Gubara Ek Jaise Hai’. I sat on one of the benches of the gym holding my head in both hands and asking myself, “What have I done to myself?”

I decided that the first thing that I’ll do when I get back home is to join a gym. And I did exactly that the next morning. Without any research, I joined a gym nearest to my house. It was an impulsive decision and not well thought through. A decision taken on impulse is always going to be counterproductive. I had taken an impulsive decision to join the gym without doing any research on ‘how to reduce belly fat’. Little did I think that there are better ways to reduce belly fat than joining a gym. I didn’t think about the process as a whole but just one pillar of the process.

To my credit, one thing which I did diligently was to maintain the regularity of going to the gym despite my hectic office life. I would go to the gym every day, even if it’s for a few minutes, but I’ll go and do a treadmill. My focus was the gym and more precisely, Treadmill. I thought that Treadmill alone would help me lose that irritating belly fat. I would run at a pace of 10, 11, 12 and sometimes even 13. I would return home, exhausted, take a quick shower and rush to the office without having a ‘proper’ breakfast. I would eat anything and everything that came my way, thinking that since I’m doing a strenuous Treadmill, I can afford to eat anything.

After 3 months when I checked my weight, I was distraught. My weight had further increased by 3 kgs. Depressed and not knowing what to do, I went straight to the gym trainer and narrated my sad story. The gym trainer listened to me with wide eyes and the smart guy that he was, immediately understood that a murga was sitting in front of him. He convinced me to hire a personal trainer for Rs 8000 per month. This was over & above Rs 20000 that I’ve already paid as a yearly subscription. Desperate, that I was to reduce my belly fat, I hired him. He promised me that he will bring my weight back to normal within 3 months.

The next day my weight training started. The trainer handed me my workout card which had every workout from Lat Pull to Bench Press to Weighted squats to Lunges to Crunches to Dumbbells. I followed him diligently and the trainer was very happy with my dedication. On returning home, I would eat whatever was made in our home kitchen. I didn’t change my diet. I thought that with my new workout regime since I’m working out so hard I should be eating more otherwise my body would crumble.

The Concept of CALORIE DEFICIT was not known to me then. This continued for another 3 months but without a difference. Now the trainer would take my weight every 15 days. Sometimes I would weigh 1 or 2 kgs less and sometimes 1 or 2 kgs more. When I weighed less, the trainer would take all the credit on himself and when I weighed more he would put it on me by saying that I need to put more hard work into my training. After 3 months, I discontinued that trainer but continued with the rest of my gym subscription despite not getting the desired results. After one year, little had changed and my protruding belly was now parallel to my feet.

I was depressed but still determined enough to get rid of my belly fat. When you’re constantly thinking about something, the universe also conspires to make things work in that direction. One Sunday morning, while I was just strolling in my housing complex, I met my recently shifted neighbor. He was coming back from his routine morning run and being Sunday he had gone for his Half Marathon run. Needless to say that he was very lean & fit. I asked him how he maintains himself so well? I also shared my problem with him and requested him to help me get rid of my belly fat. He invited me to join his running group. He told me this would help me shed those extra kilos. He told me that some very good ultra-runners in their group are very lean & fit and running with them would help me shed those extra kilos.

Accepting his invitation, I joined the group which consisted of more than 200 members. I was introduced to all kinds of runners from Ultra runners to Long Distance runners to Tempo Runners to Speedrunners to Short Distance runners, from 17 years old to 70 years old runners. They would run on the road, on the track and grass. My Fitness learning started from here.

The first thing that I was told was ‘Diet is more important than working out. No point in running 10k or 15k or 21k if during the day I’m eating much more than what I’ve burnt. I should eat a balanced diet of carbs, proteins and healthy fats. My morning breakfast should be within 30 minutes of finishing the run and it should constitute eggs or peanut butter or oats or Daliya and Coffee. My lunch should be a bit lighter than my breakfast and it should constitute a dal, two rotis, subzi & curd. My dinner should be the lightest and should constitute a khichadi. My hydration should be 8 to 10 glasses every day. The concept of CALORIE DEFICIT was taught to me and that too without any cost. I started feeling lighter in weight within one week of my running with the group. I was determined to lose the weight in the next 3 months.

I increased my running intensity. I would now do endurance runs and tempo runs and started competing with my fellow runners who were more experienced than me. I started asking for their distance and timings confident enough that soon I’ll be better than them. Little did I realize that we all are LIFESTYLE runners and competing with them or even beating them would not suffice any purpose. One day while I was trying to run as fast as I can to get ahead of a fellow runner, I experienced some pain in my left knee. I didn’t stop but kept pushing myself. By the time I finished my run, the pain was so severe that I was barely able to walk. I was helped by some members of the group and was advised to consult the doctor. I was diagnosed with ‘Runner’s Knee’ and the doctor advised me to take rest for 7 days. 7 days?  Not Running? I was aghast but had no option but to take a rest. Those 7 days taught me the biggest lesson of my fitness journey.

We’re LIFESTYLE athletes and not Amateur or Professional Athletes. A Lifestyle athlete is neither professionally trained nor does he earns his livelihood from the sports that he plays. An Amateur Athlete is professionally trained but doesn’t earn his livelihood from the sport he plays. A-Pro athlete is professionally trained and earns his livelihood from the sport he plays. So as a Lifestyle runner, I should be putting only as much pressure on my body that it can bear. By competing with fellow runners I was putting an extra load on my body which my body was not able to sustain. Either I increase my muscular strength by following a training program or I stop competing with them. I should compete with myself, understand my body, and better my own performance. I also learnt how to deal with injuries.

After my injury healed, I returned back to the track. I spent those 7 days reading about fitness and watching youtube videos of fitness experts. What I learnt there is summarised below:

  • Fitness is a lifetime journey. Once you decide to embark on that journey, you must research well before you take up any activity.
  • Diet is an integral part of the process. The role of diet is 70% while the role of workout is 30%.
  • Rest and Sleep are equally important. In fact, it’s during the rest that our muscle strength is built.
  • Optimum fitness is achieved with a combination of a Balanced Diet, a good workout regime and rest.
  • 70% of our body is water. So we must keep ourselves hydrated, always.

It’s been 10 years of my association with the running group and I’m happy to state that I’ve been able to reduce my protruding belly. I’m as lean as my college-going son. He and I fit into the same pair of Jeans. People keep complimenting me with that Sholay dialogue ‘Itni Umar toh nahi lagti aapki’. With a wry smile, I say ‘Thank you' to them feeling happy from within.

I hope that this write-up will inspire the reader and more people will get into the healthy mode and take up some kind of fitness activity. May we all lead healthy life. Keeping your body fit is a way to Thank God for blessing us with life!

About me:

Credits: Supplied

Gaurav Bhatia, 53, is a management graduate with over 30 years of experience in Sales Management at various Functional levels. I’ve worked with Tata group, Tata Green Batteries as National Channel Head, Sleepwell Mattress as National Vertical Head, Vodafone as Circle Retail Head & Reliance Infocomm as Zonal Head. Presently, he is working as a Sales Strategy Consultant & Trainer and associated with Cos of repute. He is a fitness enthusiast, HM runner & Cyclist

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are his own and CitySpidey does not endorse them in anyway.