THE BREAKDOWN: Stage One

So, let’s begin with the first stage. As mentioned in the “The Breakdown”, I began my fitness journey in the same confused boat many of us seem to board when embarking this quest to improve our health and manage our weight.

After basic research through online search engines, I found there was a plethora of resources from medical journals, to expert advice and then there was the not so expert advice too… To avoid being overwhelmed by it all, I decided to start with baby steps by cutting down excessive calories and fats from my diet and adding exercise to my activities of daily living. 

During the time I decided to take my health more seriously, I was a 21 year old psychology major in my final year at City University of New York Hunter College. Whilst juggling 5 lectures and 2 labs a week, working a part time job, and living in a city where one tempting tasty bite after another constantly surrounds you, it was extremely easy to let the pounds pack on. It didn’t help that my apartment was located right on top of a Taco Bell and Pizza Hut combo restaurant. The manager was a fellow Punjabi brother, who (like many of us) was unable to deny his deeply conditioned hospitable and persistent nature, and insisted I have a T-bell or Pizza Hut meal on the house quite regularly. Since I wasn’t counteracting any of this in-take with the necessary physical exercise, it was no surprise that I allowed my body to reach 220 lbs and highest body fat percentage ever. 

I had hit my rock bottom. It’s not a fun feeling and extremely difficult to digest. And in retrospect, I can now say that I’m not sure I had a whole lot of self-love for myself either. Six years later, I see there was a direct correlation between holistic health and self love 🙂.

CALORIE COUNTING 

*If I could go back* During the first stage – due to my slightly obsessive nature, I found myself focusing a bit too much on calorie counting and (sometimes) not enough on the quality of calories. Calories are the energy our bodies need to function. We receive most of this energy from macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and proteins). 

Calorie counting was a great starting point for me, and a great method to monitor the necessary calories for weight loss – especially since my main issue was over eating. 

Super Tracker is a helpful tool in estimating the calories you need to consume in order to maintain or reach your goal weight. 

Monitoring my calories was tedious and complicated at first. But within just the first week, with reading nutrition labels so regularly, I became accustomed to and familiar with many of the nutritional values. To make life even easier, I used a handy app called MyFitnessPal  which helps keep track of your daily food and beverage intake and helps track your health! 

I used this tool consistently for a couple of months and then on and off until I felt I had a good grasp on nutrient intake independent of the app. If you’re used to eating diverse cuisines (like myself), MyFitnessPal easily allows you to add personal foods to your database as well. And no, this is not a sponsored ad. Lolol. 

GYM + TRAINING: 3—4 x WEEK

CARDIO: Power Walking 6 to 8 Miles X Week 

Living in the upper east side and being blessed enough to have Central Park as practically my backyard, I took on power walking as my new favorite escape. A cheap and easy place to start, this was helpful in so many ways. 

    Therapeutic Outlet – allowed me to connect with inner thoughts
    Forced me to get outside more, and I found myself getting lost in the streets of a city I wasn’t exploring nearly enough. 
    I rediscovered old music and found new music
    Surrounding myself in an environment where many others were fitness inclined helped keep me encouraged and motivated to keep going
    Phone Time! Perfect opportunity to catch up with family and old pals

Power walking allowed me to shed the initial weight I was trying to work off. Along with power walking, I signed up for my very first gym membership and incorporated light free-weight training into my fitness routine.  

WATER : 2 L H20 Daily 

Cutting out a couple hundred calories from your diet may not seem like a difficult task for some, but my inner Jabba the Hutt was always fantasizing about getting my paws on a giant greasy New York pizza slice.

Increasing my daily water intake helped :

  Curb my appetite
  Energize the body
  Flush out toxins
  Clear my skin 

That wraps up the break down of stage 1. If ya’ll have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me a line via the link in the “Contact” tab and be sure to subscribe for all updates! As always, please remember when making any changes to your health regimen, it’s important to consult your physician first. Until next time, peace, love & all things sparkly ❤️.