Big, Fat Confusion: To Lose Weight Or To Stay Fit?

Posted: September 6, 2014

We often confuse our fitness goals – do we want to lose weight or stay fit? Are they the same thing? Here’s an interesting take.

“How many kilos have you shed? Oh! I just managed to get rid of this flab!”

“I have to lose at least 15 kilos so that I can fit into my gown from college days!”

“I am on a crash diet! I am missing food already!”

“I am not motivated enough to work out!”

The rants never end. And so, never ends the feeling of not feeling good! We live in a world where we want everything – a good job, a good figure, fitness, happiness, and appreciation without working much towards earning them. That said, there has been a surge in the number of people aiming to lose weight rather than staying fit. Discussion forums are flooded with weight loss diets and videos of aerobics and yogic exercises.

The good part is, people love the idea of sporting a good, toned body. The bad part, however, is only concentrating on losing weight to earn that body. Fitness definitions vary from person to person. It is as variable as ‘what is right or wrong’. Many working people (men and women included), enroll in fitness programmes that promote a slim and trim body (with packs for men) rather than the idea of actual fitness, and then starts the difficulty.

First, binging at burger, pizza and fast food joints helps in earning unwanted pounds of flesh. Then, the fitness programs ask you to go on a diet that suddenly curbs your lustful cravings to eat cheese, butter and mayonnaise-loaded foods, and loads you with a lot of greens to eat and exercises to burn the calories settled in the waist and below, to make you sweat! A week passes, and people get back to the routine of binging on whatever was missed during the regimen. Not only does the reckless abuse of the body start, the cravings, instead of being satiated, hit a new high.

Losing weight is not always synonymous with staying fit. Staying fit happens when you build your stamina from the excess carbs that are waiting to burn.

We all love to eat. However, we all dread the word ‘calories’, though we love the same when it sounds like ‘calories burnt’, ‘calories down’ or ‘zero calories’. And, needless to say, we all love the idea of ‘hitting the gym’ (quite a fashion these days). Most importantly, whether or not we follow it, we totally adore the idea of staying fit, with a toned body sans water retention and dark circles.

The idea, when it  reaches the stage of implementation, deviates from the idea of staying fit to simply losing weight. Skipping breakfast, killing the desire to satiate the frenzied taste buds, and directly jumping into a crash diet makes people hog on every rich food once the weight loss plan gets over, which is not good.

My parents have this Five point rule for healthy living

  • Early to bed, early to rise. Drink a lot of water as soon as you wake up. At least 3 litres a day is a must.
  • A time for everything and everything at its time. Your body clock should tell you the time of the day.
  • Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Don’t kill your desires. Eat whatever you like, taste everything, but don’t binge. Do not eat till your stomach is full such that lethargy creeps in the moment the last bite is devoured.
  • From a busy schedule, 30 minutes of a day must be dedicated to physical fitness (like walking, yoga, gym whatsoever), preferably in the morning.
  • And finally, gossip less. Sometimes, mental baggage is extra weight too. A healthy mind alone can compliment a fit body.

I have followed the above  rules and it has helped me a lot. Motivation does not come from people around. It comes from within. It does not come by asking people for fitness advice or to give you company in what you have to do to stay fit. It comes from realising the fact:  ‘now or never!’. Treat your body with respect. Work towards gaining self control.  Make sure, with a healthy body, the mind stays healthy too. And then, you will find that your fitness shall speak for you in ways you wanted.

Pic credit: Tescho (Used under a CC license)

This piece was first published here.

A software engineer in the past, a content writer, an amateur blogger, an avid reader

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