“Phil’s-osophy. A hardbound collection of all the life lessons I’ve learned.”
Welcome to the Blog of a person who has Athazagoraphobia. Please do not get cantankerous.
“Phil’s-osophy. A hardbound collection of all the life lessons I’ve learned.”
So, it’s over. Three weeks I tried to cut down on most of my sugar intake, and I’ve sort of succeeded! I lost between two and three kilograms of my body weight (hopefully in the form of fat), and it feels great!
Sure, I went back to drinking sweetened artificial beverages, and hogged for dinner, on a few nights, but it was all worth it. What I’m going to do now, is go on an indefinite diet until I reach my goal of 75 kgs. That doesn’t mean that I’ll be cutting down on everything, but only on certain things, at certain times of the day, like - nothing heavy after 11 unless I’m really craving for it, nothing heavy for dinner, ever (until I reach my goal), and other small things like that.
They do make a difference, and they make sure that you don’t have to starve or give up everything that you love, for the sake of putting off a few kilos.
I’m glad I did what I did in the last three weeks, and I hop beyond hope that June 2013 will be the month when I finally get to stop worrying about losing anymore weight.
So, can I say “mission accomplished”? Hell yes. B)
They’re like the best.
Damn. Sugar’s crept in. In the form of Coke, and Café Cuba (a product that doesn’t even have a website yet. YES, IT DOESN’T HAVE A WEBSITE!!). The funny thing though, is that I’ve lost another kilo, making me weigh a few feathers and whiskers over 77 kilos, as of today.
So, as the end nears, I guess the diet’s become more “Carb-less” than “sugar-less”. Not that I’ve cut down on carbohydrates that much, but yes, I have. Lunch portions have gone down quite considerably, and I noticed it only when I felt so full after having scarfed down only one half of an aloo paraatha and two of some garlic naan, along with a malai kofta and a few mushrooms (delicately fished out of the horrendously orange, oil-filled gravy that they came in), for lunch yesterday. As mysteriously sick as I felt for another three hours after that, I felt so happy about how my portion sizes went down just by putting my mind to it!
What I’ve also realized, is that diets don’t have to be so hard on you. Unless you want them to be. There’s always a lot of wiggle room, where you can gorge on all the sinful treats that would make the long-gone diet gurus roll in their skinny graves every time you eat them.
Moderation, is key.
While that’s a pretty simple thing to say, it needs to be ingrained into your thought process, as soon as you put yourself on a diet. The way I see it, good dieting is part cutting down on fattening foods, working out, and telling yourself to moderate everything that goes into your mouth. If you start doing that, soon, you’ll be cutting down portion sizes without even realizing it, as I’ve found out!
So, two more kilos to go, approximately.
This feels nice. :D
It’s been about 4 days since the mishap with my phone occurred. It seems like a month since I used WhatsApp, though, and even longer, since I held my phone in my hands (even though I did that for a few fleeting seconds, two days ago, when i went to check on it at the service centre.)
In the time that it took all this to happen, I’ve realized one thing - you can definitely go about your daily activities in an urban Indian city, without a smartphone (or any kind of phone, but it makes sense to carry a phone.) I got along pretty fine in the areas of communicating with people, using the Landline (yep, it still exists. For a reason.), and Facebook, mostly.
The only drawback to Facebook is that, unlike most older people assume of us shackled teenagers, we’re not always on it. This deserves an emoticon, too - :/ . I’ve got first-hand experience of this now, because I keep waiting and waiting and waiting for people in my Facebook messaging group to reply, and they don’t on time, mostly, because they’re not checking Facebook every other minute. Sure, there are times of the day when about a hundred people in my friends’ list are available to chat at that given time, but during the rest of the day, it’s pretty much a temporary ghost town. Due to which, it’s a wee bit unreliable, when you need to contact someone in an emergency situation, and they don’t reply.
Another epiphany that I had this afternoon, is that I’d rather stay phoneless than have an ugly phone, as long as it’s under my control. I can’t say no to someone who asks me to get a phone because it’s becoming difficult to contact me when I’m on the move (which is exhilaratingly impossible now), can I? I went into a phone store to buy the cheapest Nokia they had (which, surprisingly, was not under 1000 Rupees. O.o It was 1250.), and it looked so cheap. I wish I were not lazy enough to Google the phone and post an image of it here, but then, you can surely take my word for it. The model above it was cheap too! And the one above that? You guessed it - cheap as a matchstick. Appropriately priced, I know, but then, I remember Nokias being much better looking and much better-feeling-in-the-hand, even one year ago! The Samsung models started bang on at 1k, but I loathe Samsung at the moment, and the phones didn’t look that great (but maybe just felt a tad better than the Nokias), so that was off the shelf (pun intended.)
Alas. I walked out without a dumbphone (or any other kind of phone) in my hand. The Vodafone store doesn’t sell its barebones self-branded phones either. What a shame! I have an old lime-green-and-white Reliance CDMA phone that I need to reactivate, and I guess that’s the only option left, now that I know how cheap the low-end Nokia phones are.
Arriving at this conjuncture, I can safely say that I miss my Razr a lot. A LOT. And I hope I get it back. Because otherwise, I’ll have to end up buying a Nexus 4, which is not really a bad thing, but you know, it’s not a Razr.
Oh, honey. A whole 400 grams of it has a mere 1280 KCal of energy in it! Just 80 grams of carbohydrates and 80 of natural sugars! And this’s a bottle of honey that can last for about two weeks, if used in quite large quantities, everyday.
It hasn’t been really sugarless lately, now that I look back, though, to the last couple of days. Loads of fruit juice, honey, and an accidental midnight snack that got made out of two pieces of sweetmeat, yesterday (or rather, really early in the morning today), which has reduced this sugarless diet to a sort-of-not-sugary diet.
Anyhoo, that aside, the weighing scale at the gym tells me I’m 79.3-something Kgs now, sans the water I lost perspiring and avec the shoes I was wearing. This’s after I ate pretty normally all day long, so I’m happy. The plan’s working, even with my devious deviations from it.
Gymming’s been going great too, with half an hour of cardio a day, plus a few exercises with weights. I have a tingling feeling at the back of my head that I’ll be done with losing 5 kilos by the end of June, at the most! So woohoo for me. :D
I did it.
I ate five blocks of diamond-shaped khova. I couldn’t help myself, man! In the middle of exam fever, and my phone becoming a brick, and the weather being so normal, I couldn’t help it.
Please look away from me. I’m ashamed. After eating them all, I felt so guilty and hurt about how I betrayed my own self. I didn’t think I’d become so powerless, that too, for something as trivial as khova!
This was yesterday.
Today, though, I stayed away from a cookie that came back with the bill, in the place of change, since they didn’t have any, at the café we were at. I even shoved it towards the guy who eventually gobbled it down and made a mumbly comment on it. Quite a funny moment, but then, you had to be there to chuckle about it.
So, here’s to another 15 days of “no sugar”. :/ I hope I can stay true to my word.
I’ve always known that, and although I tend to believe that I’m not as dumb as some other people, I know for a fact, that I can be quite daft at times. Why I bring this up now, is because I’ve effectively spoilt my phone.
Call it bricking or locking or whatever; the fact remains that I rooted my poor little Motorola Droid Razr, and I tried to update it to Android Jelly Bean, but I ended up downloading the Verizon CDMA version, which isn’t right for my phone, and ended up ruining it. Now, it won’t boot.
I’ll have to find out where the service centre is, and leave the phone with them for God knows how many days. Other than that, other inconveniences include me having to borrow my dad’s low-end Samsung smartphone, which I hope works fast enough for me to not have to bang my head against a wall every other time I use it.
Okay, I guess I’m just being a bit too cruel, aren’t I? It’s just that I don’t know how many days I’ll have to go without a proper smartphone! No WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest, phone calls, random Googling, and also, just having a svelte and hot smartphone in my pocket/hand.
I never realized how attached I’ve become to my phone, until now. It’s a feeling that’s expected, but I never thought I’d have experience it. Of course, I might get my phone back within a day, in which case all this would just be a whole lot of melodrama for nothing, but if it takes a week or two, or even more, what do I do?!
My Razr. Please get well soon.
The heat. The humidity. The horror.
I was on the verge of just buying a bottle of Coke and guzzling it down like a Bugatti does petrol. But then, I just told myself that this’s something I’m doing for myself, and that I would have to do it sometime or the other in the near future, if I scrap it now. So, better now, when I can get rid of the exam fever and the fat in one go, than when I have to worry about diets in the holidays, right?
That’s what I thought.
Also, I cheated. Yesterday. I ate two blocks of some scrumptious (and a little dry) caramel-coloured kalaakhand. It was just there on the dining table, and no one else eats it, so I couldn’t let it go to waste, right?! Besides, I can’t be too tough on myself. That’s just inhuman.
So, I just hope I can persevere for 18 more days. No Coke. No sugar. No sweets. No cake.
I shall do it.
So, here I am. More than half my day’s done, and I’ve gotten through it without my tongue making any direct contact with sugar. Sure, the bun on the burger that I ate might have had some sugar in it, but I’m going to let things like that go, because it would just be stupid to be bothered about them.
I realized, at noon, that to survive in this scorchingly humid heat, I will have to buy myself a nice bottle that can keep water cold for a long time, because most places these days stock up heavily on Coke and other soft drinks, but not on bottles of water. The Coke in the fridge, at the small shop that we went to buy beverages, was forgivingly cool, whilst the bottle of water that I bought was barely at room temperature. Such a shame!
I have also realized that I will have to rethink my midnight snacks, as most of them were sugary stuffs that I will have to stay away from, now. You might be wondering why I’m typing out “for the rest of the month” or “until three more weeks” and other such phrases so much, in this post and in the previous one (and if you haven’t noticed it, shame on your attention span), and it is only for reassuring myself, about how this is a commitment that I’ll have to see through for the rest of the month. (Yes, there I go again!)
Yes, I won’t be posting as often as this, once I kick the regimen into place, but rest assured that the next couple of week’s posts will be entertaining.
But wait, aren’t they always? =))
Carnatic music, at its best, can produce in anyone, so many shades of feelings. The endless cornucopia of raagas that exist, have the power to make us emote, given the right circumstances and mind space. Obviously, someone who’s used to listening only to mainstream “Westernized” music, has to be able to clear their mind up a little, before even starting to grasp the magnitude of power that lies in Carnatic music.
When I was younger, and didn’t know a huge vocabulary of raagas, like I do now, I used to classify them under different emotions - happy raagas, sad raagas, peaceful ragas, funny raagas, psychedelic raagas, angry raagas, and so on. Now that I think about it, raagas can produce those emotions so very easily in me, if sung properly.
I’ve always maintained that Carnatic music, or even classical music in general, is best appreciated if the listener knows the intricate structures and rules involved, too; just like how people enjoy fine wines only after having savored many a wine beforehand, and having learnt quite a bit about how they’re made, how old they are, and things like that.
I am no expert in Carnatic music, mind you, but I can tell you how amazing it feels to open your voice up with a few vocal exercises, and then just delving into a soothing Raagaalaapana (singing the raga in the way in which you comprehend it, whilst still staying within the boundaries of that raaga, and using the phrases that pertain to that raaga.) It frees up the mind, and although I am totally at sea when it comes to neurology, I can just feel mind-blocks getting thwarted, and the neurological highways in my brain becoming less cluttered.
Since I’ve established that raagas can alter your emotions, I can now say that I absolutely loathe singing (and/or listening to) a few raagas (like Hindola, Pantuvaraali, etc.) This is probably because i subconsciously don’t like feeling the emotions that these raagas produce in me. I also love singing/listening to a few raagas; they make me feel elated, happy, at peace with the world, alive, and just a little bit more human, every time I come across them (like Kalyaani, Begada, Mohana, Todi, Kharaharapriya, Naatakuranji, etc.)
Raagas are just one part of the whole world of Carnatic music. The compositions themselves play a really important part. Yes, most of them are about the composers’ thoughts and praises about Gods, but the dexterity required to adhere to the grammatical rules and the wit that they must have had, in being able to do so, is overwhelming. And it’s not like they sat and wrote these compositions for days at a stretch!
So, although I consider myself to be an agnostic theist now (and have been this way for quite a few years), I can sing these compositions as, sort of like a story-teller telling the composer’s story in my voice. You know, rather than thinking of it as if I’m playing the part of the composer, figuratively saying. It’s like I’m the narrator, and not the actor. I just hope I’m making at least some sense here.
By now, if you have no clue about Carnatic music, almost everything you’ve read here so far, must feel like Greek and Latin. Or Sanskrit. (You know, it’s not like people go about saluting each other saying “Aham tvaam namaskaaromi.”, do you?) But just know this - if you enjoy listening to “normal” music, wherein you don’t have to have prerequisite knowledge about anything related to music to do so, and find classical music boring, all I can say is that you are missing out on a lot.
We, as humans, have developed over the past few millennia into a pretty advanced species. We’ve developed technologies that have changed the way we live, on so many different levels. To come this far, and start taking steps backward, by dumbing ourselves down (“us” being all of us as a whole), is just shameful. It is unnecessary, and inane!
Yes, I enjoy listening to “non-classical” music too, depending on the scenario (like, at the gym, at a party, out with friends, or just when I’m “in that mood”), but it’s just an entirely different sensation, to plunge into the world of classical music. I don’t want people to be so stubborn as to not put in the effort to learn about Carnatic music, or any other form of classical music.
Sure, there is charm in effortless listening, but I can not stop stressing on how wonderful it is, to put in that effort, and reap the benefits of the vastness of knowledge and happiness, that is Carnatic music. To total new-comers, Carnatic music, with its vast array of raagas, instruments and rules, would seem intriguing and confusing at first, but to someone with a good ear, the charm of Carnatic melody and the tunes sound just as good as pop/rock/you-know-which-kind-I’m-talking-about music, if not better.
I started learning Carnatic music at the age of 6. It was alright in the beginning, and it got quiterough in the middle, but I thank my mom for not letting me quit, because after I’d passed that particularly troublesome hurdle, it’s been an amazing journey so far. Patience has literally been a virtue. And I can tell,that it’s only going to get better. Yes, I’ll have to work hard, and yes, I’ll have to make sacrifices, but that’s a very small price that I’ll be paying, for what I’ll be getting in return - a happy soul.
For a while now, I’ve been thinking of going on a diet, to get rid of the remaining few ounces of fat that I couldn’t get rid of, the last time I was on a fat-burning spree, about a year ago. I shouldn’t have stopped, but then… it became pretty stagnant, the fat-losing. I’d work out so hard, and eat as healthily as I could, but I would still remain at about-80 kilos. So I would impetuously go about my daily gymming routine, only to stay the way I was, now that I look back over my non-fat shoulders.
Cut to yesterday, and a wild thought caught my brain by the reins - most of my carbohydrate intake comes from sugar; in the form of Coke, ice cream, fruit jam and many other processed/artificial foods. So, why don’t I just get rid of those and see what happens?! Obviously, it’s the summer, and I can’t stay away from ice cream and Coke for long, and I will allow myself to go crazy and guzzle a few bottles of Coke and eat at least half a dozen popsicles (on the day my exams get over, presumably), but other than that, it’s going to be a pretty sugarless month, this May.
So, starting today, I will be cutting out processed sugars entirely. That means, no packaged foods that contain sugar (including the infamous Coca Cola, a.k.a. Coke, ice cream, biscuits (although I haven’t eaten those in a few months), chocolates, packaged fruit juices, etc), cakes, no adding sugar to coffee, or any other food, on my own, and no artificial sugar-flavoured flavourings, as well. What I can eat, are fruits, fruit juices without added sugar, honey, and any other naturally sweet produce.
The aim, is to cut down on the bad kind of carbohydrates, that convert into fat, and get stored in the body, leaving that unwanted flab on the tummy, and near the waist, that I’ve been wanting to get rid of since more than half a year. Paired with a good gymming routing, I’m hoping that it comes to fruition, and that this diet won’t go to waste.
I’m just listing out some of the foods and beverages that I’m going to miss, now - ice cream, foremost, because it’s the summer; followed by Coke; fruit juices, fruit jam, and sugar in general. I won’t be able to nibble on the occasional Indian sweet-meat from the amazing sweetshops that we’ve got here, or the other dessert snacks that my mom keeps buying. I will also not be able to have coffee; my definition of coffee being “sweetened milk made to taste like coffee”. =))
Of course, the jam will have to go in the fridge for the rest of the month, and the peanut butter will have gotten harder, because I don’t use it for anything other than peanut-butter-jam sandwiches, which I can’t make for another three weeks, for jam has sugar in it. Damn. Some of the good by-products of this diet, other than the supposed fat-loss, will be that I’ll be saving quite a bit of money (around 1000 Rupees), half of which would have been spent on Coke alone!
What this will also do, is cut down a few possibly-pointless conversations that I keep having with people, over a cold bottle of Coke, or a hot cup of coffee. Water will literally be the elixir of my life for the rest of the month, and I can’t really see how I’ll be downing any other beverage, there being a lack of savory cold beverages. There are fruit juices, but they don’t really taste that good without sugar, unless they’re exceptionally sweet. Or maybe I’ve just got to get used to them. A fact that will be tested for the truth in the span of the rest of the month.
21 days. Three weeks. No sugar.
(Well, you know what I mean.)
I hope it does me good!
Penny. Sheldon. =)).
I don’t remember ever writing here, about Facebook. People think that I’m a “Power User” of Facebook, and that I sit at the computer all day long, Facebooking. The truth is, that I post via other apps, that are linked to Facebook. Sensibly smart people will know this. To all others, phhbt.
Moving on, the fact of the matter is, that this “information overload” that people keep telling us we’re being bombarded by, is easily preventable. This post might have started out boring, unlike most of my other posts, but keep reading, and I assure you that you won’t be bored. As usual.
The first ever time I deactivated my Facebook account, I felt terrible! It was in the peak of the Facebook-is-awesome phase that was going on at the time, and as one of my friends puts it, people were hanging from rooftops and declared that I was taking a Facebook hiatus. =)) Silly guy. Anyway, I was back a week later, to a flood of notifications and lame posts “welcoming” me back, which, as nitwitted as it sounds, felt good at the time.
The second time around, I don’t remember. There, I just saved a para. =))
And now, it’s almost been a month since I deactivated for no other damn reason than just for the sake of it, and also because it was becoming boring. It feels good! That only tells me that it’s just something to get used to - even for such a thing as deactivating your Facebook account.
Sure, loads of people’ve asked me why I did, from my mom to my sister, to friends who thought I’d blocked them, to ones who’ve joked about ending a relationship with someone in France (they’ve set some pretty high standards for me, huh? =)) ), all of whom got the same “democratic” answer - that I did just like that. It’s so simple!
People keep telling me that I post too many things on Facebook, and now that I’m not there on it, they’re astonished that they were exaggerating about it. And then, there’re people who didn’t even notice, and thought that I was joking, when I told them about it.
Of course, I had to reactivate it twice, for a few minutes, to download a photo, and to get some information from a group, but apart from that, it’s been a really good month, so far! I’ve noticed that my internet usage has gone down a lot, and that I’m going online just to check email, and to read random stuff when bored. Good for me!
Now, when I do “return” to Facebook, I’m hoping that my posts will be minimal; a hope that will be fueled by the fact that I shall disconnect Foursquare, and possibly Instagram (say bye-bye to all my wonderful photos, complainers), and a slew of other applications, and just use it to keep up with people and basically, network. And yes, I can start promoting this blog there, too, I guess!
Scrolling down an endless stream of funny, and mostly useless posts on the News Feed is not something that will terribly increase my intelligence, I bet.
I’m glad that I’ve reached this realization sooner, than later! And if you have too, or if you have already, and are tsk-tsk-ing at how gullibly late I am, then, woohoo. WOOHOO, I say. =))