Sleeping well is still not a problem – even though I’m thirty-six years old. I can sleep like a baby as long as there are no external disturbances. External stimuli – mainly noise – disturb my sleep a LOT. I’ve never been comfortable wearing ear plugs while sleeping, so this has been a slow shift. And in Gurgaon, no one seems to know that the horn of their vehicle is supposed to be used as a warning and not to create deafening toneless music. So sleep can be disturbed by the incessant honking outside our apartment window, wailing babies, barking doggos, drunk late night parties, family feuds upstairs and midnight laundry by the neighbours. Ear-plugs to the rescue. The foam ones that they give you on air planes. They work better if you cut them in half – if you use the full pieces, it will take longer to get used to them as they can be painful when worn for upto eight hours, especially when you sleep on the side with a pillow under your head – the pillow presses against your ear and the ear plugs can dig in some more.
Lack luster skin has been the bane of my life ( along with the belly fat ). I dropped almost twelve kilograms last year, so my bones are definitely feeling better carrying less weight around. But this also adversely affected my skin. I don’t drink a lot of water and initially, I was also consuming little to no fat. Both water and fat are crucial to keep your skin elastic and naturally moisturized. So I’ve brought back fat into the routine – tablespoon of ghee with the eggs in the morning, another tablespoon over the salad I’m having in the afternoon and sometimes a tablespoon of ghee directly from the jar.
For superficial beauty, I bought a couple of boxes of “Blackhead removal strips” and used them for the very first time in my life. They didn’t dig out the big white and black heads but they stripped away all the smaller ones, that might have turned into big ones later on. I also wanted to try some colour in my hair, I’ve been showing of the white streak since I was in high school. I didn’t want to bleach my hair to get the saturated colours. Wanted to play it safe but also wanted ot try something new. Luckily I spotted a new range of colours that BBlunt has launched – there’s one called Blueberry Black, which I purchased from a NEWU store at Galleria, Gurgaon. ( You can also get it from NYKAA here. ). I applied it on my hair yesterday but haven’t left the apartment since so I don’t know what it looks like in sunlight, which is where the colours might actually pop. Gray coverage isn’t 100% – just about ok – which I’m fine with anyway.
I recently went for my first ever Yoga class. Vasudha Kadian of VBeauty.co was the instructor. Having never been “into fitness”, any kind of regimen or workout routine is anathema to me. I’ve tried walking, which I love and can do for hours – but the air pollution in the National Capital Region has thrown those plans out the window. So I’m left with nothing in terms of fitness practice / exercise and I’m desperate to improve the blood circulation in my body and up my levels of strength and stamina. Akanksha has been following a yoga routine for many years now and I’ve been thinking about it more and more. So there I was, to try my hand ( and feet and butt and muscles and breathing ) at Yoga. Thankfully it went well. And I enjoyed it, which is most crucial. If Vasudha does decide to take classes regularly, I will be signing up. And even if she doesn’t, I will look for an alternative ( tell me if you know of some great yoga classes in Gurgaon please? ). But a guided class, when I know I have to take out time at least 2-3 times a week, is what is going to work for me.
At the Yoga class, Vasudha also strongly advised I up my intake of water from 2-4 glasses a day to at least 8-16 glasses. It isn’t that I don’t know about the advantages of drinking water but discipline is not my forte. So I decided to start small. One glass as I wake up. Keep one glass on my work desk, always filled. Drink before breakfast. A little after breakfast. I try to east 5-6 small meals per day, so 10-12 glasses should not be a problem. I’ve only been doing this two days now, let’s see how long I can keep it up.
Air pollution. I’ve heard that even in a country like Japan where the air is super clean, residents go about their day wearing face masks. Lately, I’ve been feeling terrible in my sinuses and at the back of my throat. Most of us in India just “go with the flow”. Air masks are for pussies! I finally ordered a set of N99 Venus Grey masks from SmartAirFilters. ( I should’ve ordered something with two valves – not sure how I ended up making the mistake of just one valve – the air flow is a bit restricted for my liking in a single-valve mask. )
For the apartment, we’ve also ordered the Mi Air 2, which should be reaching us soon. We will be using this primarily in our bedroom, because that is where we spend most of our day anyway. For the rest of the apartment and outdoors, we’ll see how well we manage with the face masks.
The other thing I’ve started doing regularly is salads from Raw Leaf India. At least one a day. I’m not much of a kitchen person anyway, so moving to Gurgaon was awesome in this respect. As long as I can afford to pay for this, I don’t have to spend any time in the kitchen. I also don’t have to spend any time trying to deal with idiotic service providers who deliver rotten vegetables and fruits and are never on time. The only other service that adds variety to my Raw Leaf obsession is Salad Days. At Raw Leaf, my absolutely favourite salad is the Kale Quinoa Chicken salad. I signed up to their Rs. 8,000 subscription plan and I can tell that I might have found the mother lode! Now to figure out a similar subscription with Salad Days and I’m sorted.
This Diwali I really fucked up my skin. Starting to eat sugar and grains after having quit them for months is terrible for the body. I’ve fallen sick ( body couldn’t deal with the polluted air ) and recovery is taking longer than usual. Despite all the steaming and gargling and apple cider vinegar and green tea. I “feel” fatter and slower. I have gained about a kilogram or two, which comes and goes depending on how awfully I’m treating my gut. But generally, I feel “sicker”. So I’m now trying to get back on the wagon.
A scotch or two with Dad on Diwali eve doesn’t count though. ( Other alcohol intake is mostly red or pink wine and beer. This too I have been doing a lot of over the last month unfortunately. ) It is easy to go from, “I’ll have only one pint of beer!” to “Maybe I’ll have one more.” It is difficult to stop. But if I don’t even start, then I’m good. Or if I trick my brain into believing that I am going to eat the whole cake or drink the whole pint. I do that by taking just a sip or two and just a bite or two and mostly this works.
All of the above should also help with taking away the belly fat. Although quitting alcohol will be the BEST way to get there and also much faster.
Looking at my plans for November ( first Thailand and then Japan ), it doesn’t look like I’m going to be following a restricted diet AT ALL. But I tend to be fine when I’m traveling, regardless of how much I eat or drink. So I’m counting on that. As I get older, fitness and health worry me more and more. I don’t want to be old and have restricted movement. And a stereotypical “hot looking” body to show on Instagram photos is a bonus I could totally use too!
What are your health concerns these days? Apart from the air pollution, which everyone seems to know the solution to, right before they burst a big box of crackers, while wearing a face mask.