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Think Beyond the Weighing Scale : Bhushan Gaonkar

Think beyond the Weighing Scale

Sasha: I’ve finally lost 10 kgs. I had told you this was a magical diet and see how it has worked wonders for me in just two months.

Me: That is great Sasha, tell me what you had for dinner yesterday.

Sasha: I have been skipping dinner ever since the day I started this diet. I only drink black coffee instead.

Me: But skipping dinner is not a good idea.

Sasha: But this has helped me.

Me: But you look so pale and you have got dark circles too.

Sasha: Oh, that's ok, kuch to khona padega na, kuch pane ke liye. (You will have to give up something to lose weight.) For me, losing the extra weight was a priority.

I asked her one last question. Sasha, tell me, do you feel energetic at the end of the day?

She did not say a word and I got my answer.


This is how people are so desperate to look good on the weighing scale and thus they ignore other important aspects that include:

• How energetic do you feel in the afternoon and especially in the evenings? (OR you must have a cup of tea/coffee.)

• How fresh do you feel when you wake up? (If you get sound sleep, your mornings will be blissful, or you always need a shot of caffeine.)

• How much time do you spend in the washroom? (Constipation has become a common problem)

• Do you get sweet cravings after your lunch/dinner? (Do you always reach out for a piece of chocolate post-lunch?)

• Do you feel acidic or bloated once you wake up? Or is it like goli ke bina (without acidity tablet), you don’t start your day?

• Do you keep craving foods throughout the day? (You don’t get satisfaction from your meals and you keep searching kitchen cabinets for something to snack on.)

• Do you feel like doing exercises? (Do you feel like being active or sitting in one place always?)

• Do you experience stiffness in your neck and back regularly?

• Do you feel breathlessness on and off?

• Are you able to sleep peacefully at night or you play the role of nightwatchman? \

• How good is your mood? (How do you behave with your family? Are you like Ram at the office and Ravan at home?)

• How good is your posture? (Can you sit without back support?)

• Do you get tired of doing daily activities? (You might lift heavy weights, but if you cannot climb four steps with a grocery bag in hand, then what is the point?)

• How good is your flexibility? (Are you able to pick up a fallen object or do you need help?)

• How good is your immunity? (Do you sneeze due to slight weather changes?)

• How good is your stamina? (You can run on a treadmill for 30 minutes, but you pant on climbing a few steps.)

• Do you breathe right using full lung capacity?

• Do you feel lethargic and always stay in bed or do you feel strong and fresh? • How good is your digestion? Do you feel uneasy or sleepy after meals? • How regular and comfortable is your monthly cycle?

• Are you ageing gracefully? (Do you look and feel like you are in your forties when you are in your thirties?)

• Are you able to focus on your work or do you get distracted thinking of your weight?

• How do you manage stress? Can you handle it well or do you crumble?

Take time to go through this, and if you don’t score a brownie point in at least 80% of the above items, then your Dole-Shole is of no use.

Most tend to overlook these important parameters and only run behind weight loss. One may get instant gratification when he/she sees a drop in weight like Sasha, but if any of the above-mentioned parameters are not right, then you will not enjoy life.

Do it the right way:

• Sleep is one of the major influencers and an often overlooked parameter of fitness. Ensure that you get seven to eight hours of sound sleep every single day. One way to get this done is to have dinner three hours before you hit the bed. Stay away from gadgets at least an hour before you sleep.

• Good digestion impacts several things including your mood and daily routine. Many feel constipated and bloated for weeks and one reason is the time at which they have their meals. A good digestive system ensures the efficient absorption of nutrients in your body.

• Flexibility is often an overlooked factor; in fact, it is always compromised in favour of strength. If you can do 20 push-ups but are not able to touch your toes, then it's not complete fitness.

If you do not work on your flexibility, there are chances that you'd experience muscle sprains and are more prone to injury. Adding warm-up and stretching sequences to your exercise routine will help in improving your flexibility. Also, maintain correct posture and don’t be sedentary.

• Over and above your physical fitness, your peace of mind, or what we call stress levels need to be in control. If you do not get bothered by unwarranted expectations regarding weight loss, it can help you destress.

I have seen people get depressed about not losing weight. Practising deep breathing techniques and mediation as part of your morning routine and setting reasonable expectations can help manage stress.

This list can go on, but if you look at the above points, you will realise that nowhere are we talking about exercise (other than warm-up and stretching).

Our overall fitness is way beyond physical fitness and exercise. Hence, when you set a fitness goal, think beyond weight loss, and focus on these non-scale parameters. And if anyone tells you that they have a magical diet that will help you lose X kgs in one month, ask them whether it will help you improve these non-scale parameters.

Above is an actual extract from my Book: Weight Loss Tathatstu.

- Bhushan Gaonkar

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