All I can say is – ♥♡♥
Boy, do I know how important working out is. I’ve been obese twice and those two instances I was at my lowest. It was not a pleasant place to be.
At my best, I was sporting 6 pack abs, weighing in at 69 kgs with a waist of 31 inches. At my worst, I was 105 kgs with a waist of 45 inches. Now I’m fighting the good fight. I’ve brought the weight down to 85 kgs. My waist is now 35 inches.
A bad work environment, an unhealthy lifestyle, a love affair with beer coupled with a lack of time and desire to be healthy led to me being obese. But while it was a terrible struggle to bring my weight down, I must say, it was a journey that was well worth the effort.
Now I’m somewhat addicted. I need to workout. Besides the obvious benefits that are present when working out, there are those lesser known benefits that carry equal importance.
The following are what I’ve realized to be true.
1. To Be Healthy: When you’re in your late teens and early 20s, you rarely think about your health. Your metabolism is high and you don’t hold onto fat, you heal fast like Wolverine, you recover quickly after workouts and you are sharp and alert. This all changes when you enter your late 20s and transcend into your 30s. The smoking and drinking catches up. I was prediabetic in my late 20s and that led to anxiety attacks. This led me to embark on an arduous journey of healthy eating and hard workouts.
2. To Fight Fat: I got no issue with people who choose to be fat. That is their choice. But excess fat does lead to a myriad of problems. Most are concerned about their aesthetic appeal, when the fight against disease is far more important. Although, I will admit, fitting into clothes from 10 years back really does wonders to your ego.
3. To Maintain Skin Tone: At present, my skin is not the way it used to be 10 years back. No amount of skincare treatments can bring back that level of tone and elasticity back. You can, however, fight aging skin by working out hard and eating fruits and vegetables. This will help fight free radicals that harm your skin.
4. To Avoid Cellulite: They say only women get it but I beg to differ. The reason behind cellulite has not been identified yet. But we do know that drinking water, working out, eating fruits and vegetables helps in minimizing the appearance of cellulite. Things that exacerbate this condition are nicotine and alcohol.
5. To Manage Stress: Excessive stress leads to fat. It also leads to a terrible state of mind, where you are exhausted and are on the verge of burnout. I despise stress. I really do. One sure fire way to combat it is by working out hard. I used to strap on my iPod and jog for hours. Then I got into Kyokushin Karate. Now it’s just gym.
6. To Be Happy: Happiness is an addiction. The release of endorphins after a workout is such a drug. I love it. You forget your problems, you feel energetic, the world seems brighter and it’s as if Mika’s shimmery and ecstatic music is on repeat 24/7. Try it you must!
7. To Teach You Discipline: Get into a sport or take on some form of fitness regime and stick to it. Besides helping you sculpt that near-perfect body, it will teach you discipline. You will learn to quit complaining. You will learn to focus and to plan. You will also learn hard work. All these things will help you in your worklife too.
8. To Avoid Bad Habits: Once you decide to start that journey towards a healthier and fitter you, the bad habits start to fall away. Do do the bad friends. The hard part is making that decision to be healthy. I urge you to try it. You can thank me later.
9. To Meet New People: It’s true that most people who end up going to gym are looking for either sex or gossip. But those are the ones who think working out is some cool fad. The truth is that you can meet people who are focused and dedicated towards their goals. These are people you can be friends with. These are people who can and will bring out the best in you.
I will conclude by asking you not to procrastinate. I wasted too many years promising myself I will get fit. It is never too late to start but remember the journey gets harder the older you are.
May those endorphins be with you!
Travelling around Colombo has never been better. In fact, there are many places that are excellent when it comes to catering to various indulgences. Gone were the days when there were a lack of places to go to in Colombo. Having lived at the heart of Colombo for 30-odd years, the landscape has certainly changed a lot.
The 80s, 90s and right up to 2009, were periods that were resplendent with strikes, bombings and political upheavals. After the war, many hotels, restaurants, spas, hangouts and a myriad of other leisure-oriented spots have being mushrooming everywhere. While some of my favorite places have been around for decades, some are quite new.
Here are some of my favorite places to visit when I crave some food, drink and indulgent pampering.
1. The Gallery Cafe: I swear this is one place I cannot live without. The food and ambiance is exemplary. I’ve had the privilege of tasting at least 3/4 of the menu and none of it disappoints. One must add that there are some new and incredible additions to the menu, which certainly needs some sampling. My personal favorites are the Kalu Pol Pork Curry and that sublime dessert – the Chocolate Nemesis.
2. The Cricket Club Cafe: This place holds some fond memories for me. I’ve spent many Saturdays visiting the British Council and borrowing a few books and spending some insouciant times at this lovely pub, reading and sipping a few beers. The prices have increased, which is why I don’t visit as often as I used to. But besides being a must for all cricket aficionados, the cafe does offer a splendid plate of Mexican Nachos resplendent with salsa, cheese, sour cream and guacamole.
3. Foot Rub: Located at both Odel’s flagship store and at Crescat Boulevard, this definitely is a place to visit, if you and your feet are craving some serious pampering. You are guaranteed to fall asleep.
4. Spa Ceylon: The benefits of a proper Swedish Massage are two-fold. Besides soothing your muscles, which is highly recommended, if you are heavily into gym and sports, there is also the added benefit of your mind letting go off all life’s worries. Spa Ceylon is a haven for tired and stressed out souls. Besides offering a plethora of unique treatments, the products on offer are superlative, to say the least. I make it a point to visit this paradise, once a month, at least.
5. Siam House: I adore Thai food and this is one place that is authentic. The chicken in red curry is just an adventure to behold. While it is not exactly a place to hang out, it is certainly a place to overdose on a spread of Thai food that is inimitable and well worth the price tab.
6. Nature’s Secrets at Dutch Hospital: Gone are the days when facials were just for women. I make it a point to go get a Tamarind Facial at least once in two months from this excellent spa. The therapists are very well trained and the prices are very reasonable indeed. I must also say that the products, while looking a tad bit cheap, are of very good quality.
7. Chagall: Trust me. My hair is a complex nest of pure drama. Cut a bit too much from the back and what you got is a look that is reminiscent of a cockatoo. Cut a bit too much from the front and my hair looks like barbed wire. And then I went to Chagall. Why? Well, because every other salon just lost the war against taming my obsidian crown. I found the perfect salon now. It has made me look sexy. And I know this.
8. Cotton Collection: When searching for clothes in Colombo, one needs to be smart. The reason I go to Cotton Collection is because they offer better chances at picking something good compared to other retail outlets in Colombo.
9. Cinnamon Grand: I know this is rather weird but it is cheaper to wine and dine in one of Colombo’s finest hotels as opposed to some of Colombo’s top restaurants. Two of my favorites at Cinnamon Grand is Cheers Pub and The Lagoon. The Cheers Pub has, in fact, replaced The Cricket Club Cafe for me. I like the gloomy pub effect it has and the grub too. The prices are somewhat reasonable but the service is somewhat lacking. Still for all, it certainly is worth a visit.
10. Independence Square: I remember jogging around place during hours of the morning in pursuit of optimal fat loss. I still do walk or jog around ocassionally when I desire that incredible release of endorphins. The best time to walk at Independence Square is at 5 am since it is quiet, the air is clean and there are only a few people walking about.
I just finished listening to some of Mika’s interviews on YouTube and I’m faced with indecision. I don’t know what to get for dinner. My mother just planted the desire for North Indian food since she craved a naan. And now both she and her prince have gone to the supermarket. I am, of course, left pondering…dinner or the lack thereof. I’m also craving red wine. But then should I? I had 3 cans of Anchor beer and sang along to Mika’s new songs till 2 am this morning. Quite jolly that was. I adore one track in particular – We Are Young.
Yesterday was quite memorable. I ran around town getting a rather emollient chocolate fudge cake from Sponge, a champagne bottle and a perfume (Dolce and Gabbana, no less) for our Boss’s birthday. Ovandi hitched along to choose the perfume. The surprise was well worth the hassle. He was thrilled. So were we. It was quite a spread. Then we all watched Side Effects in the evening. A solid film that.
But anyways, back to Mika. I’ve listened to all his songs and wondered where in the world he disappeared to. I’ve always liked the flamboyant artists like Queen and Elton. They speak sense you see. The hurt and shit they’ve gone through offers up such creativity. In most cases you can relate to the joy and bitterness. And then you wonder with this impending sense of doom – Why did I not do something amazing with my life?
I’ve won academic accolades, school prizes and the usual ego-boosting events. I’ve created amazing ads, tv and radio commercials etc. But I’m torn between contributing more and not giving a fuck. Why would I want to offer up something sublime to the world, like a song or a book, when it’s just a pointless and temporary exercise in vanity? After all, that is what it boils down to – receiving adulation, fame and money. And therein lies disappointment. I rather write for myself though. Ah, there’s an idea!
We live in a world where success is already defined for us. Success is getting a good education in a prestigious school/university, getting a fancy job with a fancy designation, buying a mansion and driving a fancier car. Do all this and you ARE happy. The irony is you’re not. I was the unhappiest ever when I was earning the most. I’d never want part of that world again. But we’re constantly reminded about how we should crave it.
Fighting such preconceived attitudes is a pain. Sometimes you ask yourself whether you were a fool to give it all up. Those instances are few. But they still remain like ‘vampirious’ leeches made to drain you. I blame this capitalistic and consumerist world, capitalism being a religion of the masses and you’re but a deviant. But happiness is not what you should have but being grateful for whatever you do have.
So I guess I won’t covet what a pop star has. I’ll just listen to the awesomeness he creates. Let him write and create through the wellspring of his sorrow. I’ll just enjoy the beauty of what he makes.
I need to rant a bit. I needed to write. I think I’ll get me some pizza now.
I’m right here at Durdans Hospital since Mum has to get a blood test. I’ve been thinking how I need to be frugal once again. I do save one way or the other but these few months I’ve been spending a bit too much on clothes, shoes, perfumes, spa treatments, dinner outs and presents for this one and that one. I don’t regret any of these since I needed new clothes since I lost weight. Plus I enjoyed all the experiences my purchases offered me.
But one cannot be blind to the future and I do feel it will be bleak. I keep hearing how the end of 2013 will herald in a new financial depression. As it is the cost of living is rather steep. This is not going to get better. I understand why people are annoyed with the ruling powers. There is so much that needs to be done. But having lived 30 odd years, I can say, you cannot trust any government, company, bank or person. It is up to you to create a better future for yourself.
The good times never last but neither do the bad times. We need to prepare for the latter. I’ve always been told to save and I have. I enjoyed frugality and still do. But it is easy to get influenced by people and their lifestyle and you try to emulate them too. Recently I wanted to purchase a BMW and I was shocked that I had such a desire. I can’t afford one. I looked at my expenditure per month for the last 6 months and I was somewhat dismayed, even though I could afford to spend.
I just read that the money you don’t spend will be there with you forever. The money you do spend is gone forever. I’ve lived it up and had my fun. It’s time to be Frugal Ro once again. I remind myself of how much I suffered to be where I am financially. I must respect that and start saving once again. It’s easy to lose focus but I know I mustn’t. It’s easy to get swayed by the fancy cars and fancy brands been forced into your consciousness. What I remind myself is that these people are rich beggars. The Merc is on lease, the clothes via credit card and there’s nothing in the bank. What a way to live.
It’s been weird these last few days. Sometimes keeping your emotions and feelings in check can be a battle in itself. I spent my teen years and early 20s being a volatile bag of emotions. Too sensitive I was. And then I grew up. I became objective in my outlook in life. But there are certain things that you never prepare yourself for, like a mother who is growing feeble by the day, like a father who is becoming slower, like you being on the verge of marrying but wondering whether you should.
But I guess what alarms me most is that despite all my optimism, I know I am slowing down. I feel the best I can offer is way past now. I can’t remember the way I used to, can’t workout as hard, can’t stay up late or wake up early like 10 years ago. Of course, these are things that are inevitable and which you expect. But it still hits you with an undeserved force. What also kills you is that you’re alone in this journey.
I needed to pen all this down. Writing is therapeutic. It helps. It hurts. But this is life. All I can do is have some contingency plans. I’ve been blessed in this life. But that does not mean the rest of the journey is going to be smooth. Best advice Ro can give Ro now is – Suck it up and get on with it.
Dad turned 70 yesterday. But he looks a day shy of 55 though. I guess it’s because he does not take any worries to heart plus he walks a lot and eats mainly fruits and vegetables. His Bridge students took us all out for a buffet lunch to Cinnamon Lakeside. Very thoughtful of them. I got myself dropped off at Chagall and let Rayan work his magic on my hair, which is a nest of complexity. Took a pic of myself in the loo at Cheers Pub. Quite dashing, I think.
Here I am drinking some black Island coffee in bed and just enjoying the afterglow of a trip to Negombo. It was amazing. We, the entire office, went to Jetwing Beach. It was our annual trip all planned by the best boss ever, whom we all ♥ to call – Sexy Bossman. It was just one night but we loved it. Besides a ton of booze and food, we really adored the whole experience. While everyone enjoyed ATV rides, I ended up relaxing in the pool and going for an aromatherapy treatment. I also tried Hansa coffee, which is quite strong. I did enjoy being driven back in Sexy Bossman’s black BMW. All in all, I’m thrilled. Now I can’t wait to run to office!