I have lost 12 kilos over the last few months, down from about 82 kilos to below 70 kilos, without being unhappy about a lifestyle that once was. I continue to occasionally binge and drink, not exactly fat burning or low calorie activities, unless one counts laughing loudly as exercise. Last, I weighed about 65 kilos in the 80s, around the time a single party under Rajiv Gandhi enjoyed majority in Parliament. So, I see my achievement no less than Narendra Modi.

I gym regularly, but never managed to weigh less, despite focusing on my treadmill levels and not the fabulous bodied girls in tight attires seriously going about their routines in the vicinity. That made me unhappy, especially since the scale kept creeping up, despite enforced abstinence.

Then, one of those choosing between life and death moments happened that wives and parents aggressively pester about once you cross 40, the age when you have likely lived half your life.

I had to get those blood tests done, which revealed my cholesterol, sugar and BP were borderline alarming. Our wise family doctor warned that my organs (heart, kidneys, brain and many more) were a time bomb waiting to explode unless I acted and neutralized the terror within me. Or like the Indian state so many times, fail to act on the inputs.

Usually action for me translates into plenty of good old Google time collecting a whole lot of intelligence, including reader feedback, Youtube videos, cricket, politics, Sunny Leone, sitcoms and more. I read interviews of superbly fit people such as Hrithik Roshan. I know I have no hope of achieving those sculpted biceps and abs in this lifetime. But, wanted to at least get into those college jeans again and live the bulging 40s just a bit like the roaring 20s.

Following plenty of inputs, I did realize fitness is more about lifestyle and diet rather than just exercise. Warning: all of what I am about to write hereon is personal deduction. I strongly advise readers to use discretion, cross-check with nutritionist or doc before applying my prescriptions. I am no specialist. One advice, however, can be followed.

A good breakfast works. It sets up the rest of the day well. Not high glycemic corn flakes, mind you, but oats, milk, fruits and egg whites. One more action I initiated is to eat out less. This can save a lot of trouble. As I found out, the oil used even at fine dining outlets, forget food courts, is the pathetic hydrogenated variety that clogs the system.

The accumulated fat builds little dams inside the body that inhibits blood flow. Starved of Oxygen the body dies a slow death, leading to a final collapse. I have also reduced to near zero wheat flour or maida from my diet that cut out a whole lot of instant calories playing havoc with the body. Look at restaurants and fast food outlets around, praised to the heaven by mostly very rotund food critics fattened on freebies. Maida abounds in Menus – pizza, burger, chole bhature, noodles, sandwiches, muffin, pastry, pasta, momos and more. This is trouble.

I have not eliminated such delicacies from my diet, but stick to whole wheat breads, pasta and brown rice. Have them made at home, with some good oil, Saffola or Olive using non stick cookware. Make yourself during weekends, rather than order home delivery.

It does not take much time, can be creatively rejuvenating and even sexually stimulating if you can manage to rustle a tasty and healthy whole wheat penne in white sauce using double toned milk, green veggies, some cheese and mushrooms for the spouse.

She will make it a point to thank you in kind. Also, rather than just hitting the treadmill with a vengeance, try some Yoga in the morning. It is like shaking the body for further use during the day. It activates the blood stream.

I was quite stiff when I started. Now I can bend low and view the wall behind my back from between my legs, like Parveen Babi in Namak Halal, which feels quite good. I watch my weight. My benchmark is 155 pounds. Below that, I allow myself a binge, a few drinks.

Frankly, I do not look forward to those anymore as I used to. It does slow down in the 40s. But, it feels really good to fit into those college jeans. I just need to tear them a bit. Maybe, I won’t. And, those blood tests. They are back to normal.

(Check out my bestselling novel An Offbeat Story)

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