Posted in love

Facts of an Un-Fictitious Romance

Someone once wisely noted in a movie I found myself tuned into- ‘When you feel excited and nervous around someone, it means that it’s not love but infatuation. When you feel calm and at peace with your surroundings when with that person, that’s true love’. Well, I can attest to the veracity of that statement since that is precisely how I felt when I first met my to-be husband.

When I chose to look beyond the initial annoyance that was intended to impress, something clicked somewhere. I will coyly avoid any mention of a crush that had long since seeped in. The difference though was I went in with a bulletproof armour (or so I thought) and came out more helplessly in love than ever before. It did not take a lot for me to realise that this was different. He was different. Refreshingly so.

He had managed to challenge my intelligence, test my patience and poke fun at my prejudice all in our first conversation. Moreover, as clichéd as it sounds, he made me laugh like no other, question life like no other and most importantly, made me happy like no other. That is far from all that our relationship built on. We shared many common opinions, trivial stuff that you do not normally blink twice at, but it did not negate the importance of it all.  

When you pride yourself on being a romantic at heart, you do not expect to fall for someone who is so much more than that. That is precisely what I had to contend with as we courted. With a grand romantic gesture from him, I would fail miserably if I tried to reciprocate. He was always that step ahead. Our relationship was never perfect but it was as goddamned close to that as it gets.

I felt like me, comfortable in my own skin, early 20’s acne and all. He even found amusement in my sarcasm, joining in more often than not. No longer did I have to explain or laugh alone at my jokes. Coming from an engineer’s mind- our frequencies matched.

We tested our union every way possible- financial, long distance and any other way you can think of. Even survived in-class marriage course exercises in church! So that calm feeling that sunk in from day one has kept us together no matter what life decides to throw at us. I wake up everyday knowing I am with the man who was made for me, who sees the best in me, who has stood by me in every temper tantrum and who refuses to let go of my hand when times are tough. Every time I look at the big sparkler sitting pretty on my ring finger, I am reminded of how our love has only grown in the years we have spent together- the good, bad and ugly.

Posted in weight loss

The Last Mile in a Weight Loss Journey

There is no disclaimer that can prepare you for this never-ending battle. There are days when the scale is your best friend- bringing only good news and there are days when that steady, digital number is the last thing you want to see first thing in the morning. All those hours you spend at the gym working up a sweat seems meaningless when you see that all-important figure just stagnate to a point of annoyance.

This is when you begin to chide yourself for scarfing down that plain whole wheat English muffin with low fat cheese down for breakfast. You then begin to slide into questioning your ability to stick to a low carb diet that is rich in home cooked protein and freshly tossed salads. You begin to wish that losing the last few pounds to get to your target was not so hard. Losing the first few was a breeze and served as the perfect motivation to keep at it but when the plateau hits, it hits hard.

You then turn to the app that is helping you keep a track of all the calories that you are consuming and burning. Even though you have best convinced yourself that you are tracking every single calorie taken in and burnt at the gym, there seems to be no logical explanation as to why the pounds are not melting off as before.

Turning to your support system on YouTube to a score of fitness gurus who profess their success stories and attribute their sustenance onto their diet programs merely by sticking to the plan with no cheat days, you begin to wonder how you can fit your hectic work lifestyle in with domestic chores and healthy living. It is hard to understand how you have forced your body into survival mode by a sustained calorie deficit- this is where even switching up your workout routine does not seem to help!

Talking about workouts- tell me how forcing intense cardio onto your legs until they feel like Jell-O doesn’t hasten the weight loss process? Alternating between the steep incline of the treadmill and the intense pace of the elliptical to some rapid spin cycles and then topping all of that off with some core fusion. This is done in combination with some weight training for all the problem areas- chest, legs, abdominal and triceps. The pain is real and the sticky sweat trickling down the side of your face is a reminder. Staying hydrated before and after is key too.

What seems to be the problem? How do you find that motivation to keep going?

Any of you in similar shoes out there? Any words of advice for someone struggling to shed the last few pounds that are keeping you from skinny toned fit? Do share your thoughts in the comments section. Cheers!!

Posted in big fat wedding, bridal, new bride, new engagement, wedding planning

Inclinations of a Bridal Kind..

Those fairy-tale happy ending stories seem a lifetime ago when you finally feel the weight of that cool platinum engagement ring wiggle onto your formerly plain ring finger. There is this ‘pinch-me-so-I-know-it’s-real’ emotion coursing through your body. A surreal pallor grips you when you ultimately reconcile with the implications of the trigger-happy decision that was just made in a fleeting moment.

The first thing in your head is the big white dress and that flower arrangement clogged aisle that you must wade through without any clumsy moments. It is precisely then that you wish you had been like the other little girls plotting their dream weddings on scrapbooks with stolen pictures from some of mum’s pretty girl magazines. The struggle is real for the tomboy in you who never envisioned the big fat wedding, let alone having to star in it.  

The excitement in the room is palpable when you make the announcement of impending wedding bells. I would like to believe it is normal to feel like there might be recipients of the news more thrilled than the announcers are. Right? Setting a practical date is the next challenge- there is always going to be the naysayers who cannot fathom an executable plan in limited time. Getting past this is the first of many hurdles – a harbinger of what is to come.

A couple of days after normalcy has set in and the regular routine has begun to kick in, you are tempted to Pinterest ideas for everything from wedding colours to bridesmaid dresses to bridal gowns. There is the constant pressure of living up to those perfectly poised and beautiful brides with not a love handle out of place and enough hairspray to last your normal hair through the better part of a year.

For the OCD, control freak in you, a little black book seems to be the best option to ‘manage’ the chaos that is the list of tasks to do. As if planning a wedding far from home was not hard enough, there is the budget that you must not blow for what the logical ones claim is “just a few hours of merriment”. Then there is the group of “enforcers”. You must categorically avoid those ones unless you want to nod your head yes into debt. Then there are the ‘advisors’. The ones who tell you “not to end up paying for the wedding after the wedding”. To be honest, that is actually good advice. Let us not get into the other bits. Your brain must conveniently forget and or classify them as ‘not applicable’.

For the couples planning a religious ceremony, there is the additional responsibility of the rules of faith.  There are courses that prepare you for the upcoming “doom”. The goal seems to make you realise how the whole idea of marriage is a big mistake and how your partner and you are just not prepared to be taking this step. Long story short- ultimate terror. It takes a calm control & ultimate faith in your relationship to be able to avoid drowning in the in-class exercises.

Finding the dress is sometimes harder than finding the one. You go in with a checklist of what you think is good for you based on those last-minute pouring over bridal magazine sessions and countless google searches, and you come out with something completely different. You go in determined not to leave with a ball gown, convinced you would end up looking like an upside down cupcake but then you fall in love, all over again, with this Vera Wang beauty that hugs you in all the right places in spite of being one.

Your brain will convince you not to micro-manage every detail to ensure your sanity but there is always the ridiculous perception that you can work endlessly for a year to plan this one perfect evening. One for the books. Even if you are not royalty, it is nice that you can come close to having a day that celebrates a union of two hearts with all the glitz and glamour your financial situation can afford.  

As if the to-do list, that keeps getting longer, is not enough, there is familial pressure to keep at bay and put to bed. This one in particular is the hardest because there are a crazy number of strings attached and feelings potentially being hurt. You do not want to be the rebel or pot stirrer in your new family and you do not want to be the evil conspirator that is destroying the other in the eyes of their family. You must not cross an unfortunately skinny line, at all costs if you must make it through the days leading up to the wedding unscathed. It defines the nature of the relationship you will have with your old/new family for the rest of your life.

Quite realistically, it is a once-in-a-lifetime right of passage into adulthood that is almost inevitable. For those of you in shoes similar to mine, you will associate with many of the sentiments shared. For those of you wanting to get into these shoes, this is not my attempt at warding you off the very idea. I would just have liked to be better prepared for “what to expect when…”. I hope this helps.

With a little more than 3 months to go until my big day, I am holding my breath towards our attempt at a “and they lived happily ever after” like those fairy tales I used to fall asleep to oh so many years ago.

Posted in city life, traffic lights

For the Jewels at My feet…

They glisten into glory the moment the great luminescence of the Sun has bid adieu. There’s a spectacular joy in watching them twinkle as they battle the heavy curtain of darkness that engulfs their entirety. Lone warriors fighting a battle that is not to be fought but only to be lived through in transience.. 

Like a growing mob, they swell in numbers as the night ages gracefully. Some do not even need the prompt of the fading twilight to join in the swarm. They’re there, alone and silent as they wait for the rest of their army to join in the battle- the first ones to come and the last ones to leave- like alcoholics during happy hour. As the heavens above transition from a clementine orange to a murky purple, like beacons of bedtime, they appear in the distance as if smiling happily at the end of another long day. They watch as the last of the flocks return to their abode- aerial and terrestrial- as they attempt to make the best of the fading daylight. Tufts of grey clouds sail past into the distant horizon in mute agreement to the commands of established geography. 

Then there’s me- perched up high enough to watch the tranquility of the landscape burst into a mayhem of myriad colours. True to this great nation and everything it stands for, there’s this quiet beauty in its diversity. It is indeed intriguing to watch the conversations that ensue in morse. There’s the frantic transitions of the traffic lights in a perfect solidarity along a single, long stretch of road – like soldiers rising up for battle at the command of their general. There’s the bleak dots of yellow that mark the townhouses that surround the massive clump of trees that form the park, that contrast strongly against the livid orange streetlights that stand tall and predictably apart. There’s also the river of liquid gold flowing along the curve of the freeway as the crowd journeys on- like a conveyor belt at an extrusion plant. As the visibility diminishes, the orchestra of white lights come into the fore one block at a time just like an audience wave at a soccer game. 

As the heavy sky charcoals into a blackened envelope around all that is, they twinkle in the distance like belligerent toddlers daring their mothers to punish them after throwing a fit all while demanding a soft serve ice cream. For the solitary souls longing for the comfort of humanity, they serve as a constant reminder of the chasm of chaos that dictates the very purpose of survival.

And in the midst of this glittery and transient paradise, a silent reign over a darkened landscape, is the certainty of another spectacular show, come seasons or snow…