It's been two years since February 5, 2007, which was when I first stepped into the gymnasium in my office. Going to the gym has become a rather significant aspect of my routine, so I thought I'd write about it.
Whenever I try to do something new and/or significant, I try not to tell people about it. My ventures tend to be unsuccessful if I tell people about them. I mean, I'm not superstitious in general, but this is one thing about which I am a little weird. A friend of mine told me not to tell a soul when I planned to get married.
In the beginning, I needed some amount of push, some amount of external motivation to get started. It so happened that a few of us girls from the team got together and decided to work out together every morning. Now obviously these girls had to know, but I told nobody else. Not my mom, not my cab buddies, not my other friends in the office. It was just Chaya, Bhavna, Ayesha, Meenal and me in the gym every morning.
That didn't last too long. After about a week or so, each morning, one or more people would claim to be too busy to be able to find time for a workout. After another couple of weeks, there was a day when all the others were either too busy or not in the best of health. That day I surprised myself by going alone. Till that moment actually came, I did not know that I had enough motivation and willpower within myself.
From there on, it was mostly just me. I kept surprising myself by managing to keep going, and managing to refrain from telling people. But obviously I had to tell people eventually. Long and tragic story. I broke my ankle in the week immediately succeeding the week when I told my mom and my cab friends. I had to take a two-month break from all kinds of activities because of that.
With the ankle healed and the lesson learnt, I resolved to be more careful on the stairs and on uneven terrain, and went back to my regular routine. My doctor had warned me that the ankle would hurt again when the winter was upon us. It did. Last winter. Not this time round, thankfully. I took things easy last January. Because I figured that skipping gym for a week or so after careful consideration was way better than being forced to skip it for a month or two.
Working out makes me feel really good about myself. It does away with lethargy to a large extent. In these two years (or in the immediately preceding six years or so, for that matter), I have never once weighed myself. I don't know why. I just never felt like it. But I do know that I have lost six inches off my waist. Okay, I know I've loosened up a little on my strict diet control in the last few months and put a bit of the weight back on, but I also know that I'm not going to let it get out of hand this time round.
In this duration, I motivated all but one of my cab friends into joining me in the gym. All of them worked out regularly for a significant period of time before they gave it up. And there's a certain friend of mine who has also lost a huge amount of weight in about the same time frame. He told me that he was inspired by me. I'm not sure how true that actually is, but I was extremely touched when he told me that.
A lot of people have asked me how I managed to do this. I'm not sure where the motivation came from initially. But I do know that you need to motivate yourself sufficiently for just a little while. Once you start seeing results, they keep you motivated. And once you get used to it, it gets so ingrained into your routine that you just don't feel right without it. The key is not working out really hard, but working out really regularly, with some amount of diet control.
I've got a huge confidence boost from all this. I feel healthier and happier. I don't know if I actually am healthier. I don't care, really. Because, in the end, what really matters is how you feel about yourself.