Caught up in Calcutta

Hi!

I’m writing from an internet cafe in Calcutta where I’m staying with a friend. We’ve been out and about exploring the city, walking around markets and enjoying homemade Bengali cuisine. I’m starting to really miss my own cooking though! It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be to fit exercise and fruits and vegetables into my diet here, but I know that this is not a permanent situation so I’m just going with the flow. Lots of rice, fish, curries, chapatis, chai and sweets have been consumed in the process!

I’m reminding myself frequently to eat without guilt. I’m enjoying the food and the company immensely, and don’t want to spend time worrying about the nutritional or caloric value of the meals.

Sometimes it feels as if I am learning how to feed myself all over again. I’ve worked hard to shake the feelings of shame and guilt about eating, emotions that many fat people feel because of the stigmas in our society. ┬áIt’s been a process and I know I still have a long way to go.

Right now, however, I’m vowing to live in the moment, enjoy my last week in India, and continue to feel grateful for my life and what I have accomplished.

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Inspired in India

Hello from India!

I’ve been fully enjoying all the sights, sounds and food of this amazing country for the past week. While I have temporarily abandoned calorie counting during this trip, what I’m eating and how I feel eating it still consumes my thoughts.

I’m in India for my friends’ wedding and so am staying at their family’s house where each meal is a celebration. The portions are plentiful and hard to turn down…and you know what? Sometimes that’s ok.

Healthy for me means my first priority is always to be happy. For the most part, my weight loss can be attributed to lifestyle changes that were adopted to make me happier, not skinnier.

This morning I did not and could not record my weight for the first time in over a year.

I dreaded this day for weeks, and yet it passed unceremoniously. I struggle with balance and fear that without a rigid routine, all the weight I’ve lost will be regained in an instant.

This trip has given me a chance to face those fears and appreciate the benefits of how I now live my life.

I have about two weeks left in this fantastic, warm and chaotic land. Two more weeks of being outside my comfort zone and pushing boundaries and learning the lessons that come from stepping away from routine.

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Not without my scale

In one week, I’ll be on a plane to India. One of my best friends is marrying his soul mate and I wouldn’t dream of missing it, but there are also a lot of things about this trip that are causing me anxiety.

For one, it will be in the first time since starting my healthy journey that I will truly have little control over what I’m eating and when I get to exercise or even if I will get to exercise. I also won’t be able to track my daily weight fluctuations to keep myself in check.

But there are some things I am looking forward too…and high up on that list is feeling more comfortable in the airplane seat! Whenever I fly (and I’ve done a lot of flying in the past 3-4 years) I always felt that my fat was spilling over the armrests and annoying other people, and lets be honest, it probably was. I know this time that not only will I be more comfortable in the seat, but that the people around me will too.

Also, Indians are not shy about poking you or telling you exactly what they think of your body. During my last trip to India in 2009-10, I received a lot of comments about my weight. And while I’m still a good 30-40 pounds above a normal weight range, I’m hoping I won’t have to deal with as many comments. It’s wishful thinking, but at least I’ll have the joy in knowing that this time, I’m doing something about it.

Travel was really one of the biggest motivators to lose weight. It’s something I love. In the past four years, I’ve traveled to India twice, Trinidad and Tobago and Israel. Each of those trips had their highs and lows, but specifically in India and Israel, those lows were related to my weight. Whether it was because I couldn’t physically keep up or felt uncomfortable in places, my weight and limited mobility because of it usually came into play at some point.

My plans for this trip are simply to maintain my weight. Between the wedding and some additional travel that I have planned, delicious food will be everywhere and I want to enjoy it. I also know that I’ll be walking a lot and hoping to keep up with my strength training by doing some boot camp moves in the morning. Other than that, there is no plan, which is a bit scary.

I’m confident, however, that the healthy habits I’ve formed will still be there when I get back. I’m reminding myself daily that a year’s worth of work will not be undone by three weeks without my scale in India. I’m looking forward to enjoying my healthier body on this trip, and am not going to let my fears of gaining back all the weight come into play.