03 May 2012

How I Stayed Young and You Can Too

In the name of God, it was not like, one fine morning, I woke up & decided, “I want to remain young forever” &, went about making a list of things to do to stay young. In all honesty, it just happened! This post is a look-back at my life where I explore, what according to me, must have gone right.

I’ve realized that my negatives have actually turned out to be my positives! Here are some:

Walking: I can’t ride/drive. So I invariably use my feet & have walked miles & miles. Unlike Sathya who takes out a vehicle even to go to the shop right next door!

Water: I dehydrate easily. I might forget to take the marker to my training classes but not my bottle of water. And we all know water is an elixir.

Height: At 5’2” I am elfin. Shorter, slimmer people tend (mark that) to look younger. So my short stature gives people the impression that I’m young.

Smoking/drinking: I can’t stand the smell of beer/cigarettes. I don’t drink/ smoke. Never have!

Pregnancy: The time in a woman’s life when she gains weight & then struggles to shed it off. In my case, my mother had passed away, & my MIL didn’t care, so what was actually a traumatic experience emotionally, turned out (in retrospect) to be a boon otherwise. With no one to pamper & spoil me silly, no loving persuasions of “You must now eat for 2”, no overload of ghee/butter/sweets; I simply ate like I did before pregnancy - I ate for one person. Though I touched 63 kg by the ninth month, it was a weight that was normal & expected. Later on, though I didn’t once bend my body for post-pregnancy work-outs, there really was not much fat to be burned anyways.

(Note: Those who’ve excellent maternal/family care should thank God that they are receiving so much love. You’re blessed, I say. Just strike a balance though!)

Food: I don’t over-eat, I stop when I know I have to (ok, unless it is the ‘prasada’ that is given during Sathyanarayana Pooja). I listen to my body closely & can easily say, ‘No’ or ‘Enough’. Men are hopeless at this. They associate (well, rightly so!) food with love, & so when their dear mom or darling wife serves, they just can’t’ stop at 2 helpings & eventually end up with a paunch you can place tea cups on!

My lack of craze for pasta, pizza, pani-puri, chocolates, sweets, cold drinks has done me a world of good! My definition of good food is very simple: rice, sambar (curry), sabzi (vegetable side-dish) & if there’s fish fry, I’m on cloud nine!

Exercise: I hate it. And jogging. And walking. I hate anything that makes me break into a sweat! I’ve moved my limbs only twice with the express intent to be fit. But I’m fit because I’m active & the activity comes from playing. I play, easily & a lot, with children. You must give it a shot! After all, not many have the access or inclination for a gym membership. And show your middle finger to those who smirk, “Look at her, at this age, playing like a kid”

And now some positives:

My amazing gene-pool. That’s half the battle won.

My awesome metabolism. I can digest an elephant in a couple of hours! That’s how good it is.

I believe that age is just a number.

I love easy. I cry easy. I heal easy. Just like little children. Result? You stay young at heart because sometimes taking yourself too seriously does nothing but add carcinogens to your body.

Marriage is not just about buying grocery & gold. It is about intimacy & yet many let their physical longing for each other take a beating. Sometimes, that’s all the exercise you need!

Clothes play a big role in making us look old or young. ‘Dress according to your age’ is nonsense advice. How do we really know how old someone is? Who carries their birth certificate around their necks? So people’s perception of your age is just that – a perception. The right advice then is ‘dress according to your body type’. And whoever says 35 makes me ineligible to wear certain outfits, I’d say to them, GTH (go to hell). The only reason not to wear something is the awareness that it may not look good on you. And remember, whether branded or street wear, if it doesn’t suit YOU, it just ain’t worth it.

Thank God (I’m actually prostrating here), I’ve never been on any kind of medication. Many people gain weight simply because of the side-effects of medicines.

Oh, a parting tip: eat smaller portions. How? Switch to a smaller plate!!

147 comments:

  1. Enjoyed this post thoroughly. You don't follow any strict regimen yet are disciplined and follow you instincts and heart.You have enthusiasm & energy and try to see the positive side of things. Excellent formula for remaining young ! Keep it up. Sorry to note your emotional upheaval during your pregnancy !

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    1. exactly - no strict regimen at all. :)

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    2. nice narration..

      hope you remain young forever

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    3. thank you Gowardhan ... after a long time here :)

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  2. Great post Sujatha!!! You seem to live your life the way you like it and thats a simple reason to stay young!! Keep getting younger :D

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    1. hehe ... thanks :D and some of that wishing back to you too :)

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  3. ...great post, Sujatha! Thanks!
    Age is just a number indeed:)

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    1. it is, isn't it! but then we realize it pretty late!

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    2. :) one has to be of an 'age' for this realization:)

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  4. Nice one, Sujatha. Physical aging can be controlled by adopting a healthier lifestyle but the key point that you have brought out is to have an attitude of age is just a number. Being open to learning and exploring new things can keep you young in spirit, and ultimately, that is what matters.

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    1. very rightly said - the mind is where the matter is

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  5. Wow! It was just today morning that I cribbing for all the extra pounds I gained. Your blog just made me feel so light and most of all Happy! :)

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    1. awww! thank you so much Haritha! that is the best comment for this post i have received out of the first 25 people who responded! made you feel light and happy .... muaaaahhhh! :)

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  6. Brilliant post Ma'm. You are as old as you think and you feel, great lesson there and some great tips too. :)

    I don't drink/smoke either, do drink a lot of water but walking... (conditions apply :D)

    "I love easy. I cry easy. I heal easy. Just like little children." I love this line, something to learn for everyone, that's a great quality in you. :)

    The energy and the spirit with which you have written the post is phenomenal. :)

    PS: I think I have an idea who was on your mind when you wrote the para just before the parting tip. ;-)

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    1. yeah, definitely you and a few of my other friends too. many are going through similar situations and it is so much out of their control what with some medicines being very strong

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  7. Loved reading this post. You had me smiling throughout except the pregnancy bit. I felt bad reading how you managed on your own and that was pretty unnerving. I respect the fact that you were honest about it and mentioned how its important for us to appreciate the support we have from others around us during the time. All in all, an awesome, 'youngish' post!

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    1. thank you Swapna.
      actually if it hadn't been for that phase i wouldn't have known how strong i really am. though i don't wish it on any other woman EVER, i still feel that it was kind of good in my case because it taught me many things and there's still that small wound and a tear somewhere in my soul that keeps me human

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  8. :-) All smiles on this post.
    I cant seem to disagree with anything except exercise. I love to swim and jog, and since I dont have that kind of metabolism (and I would be THE HULK if I ate an elephant all my life :-)), exercising helps me.

    And you are updating faster and I am loving it.

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    1. oh Jenny i totally admire those who exercise - swim/jog/whatever. all that tight gym outfits makes me envious but you know i seriously don't have even the slightest drive to stretch myself. and surely the benefits of a fitness routine are far too many. so lucky you that you have the passion for it :)

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  9. Thanks Sujatha, for sharing the secret of perpetually young look! What looks like simple things is a tight regimen and it sure produces good results! Wishing you stay younger and keep us entertained with your lovely writing for a very long time to come:)

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    1. yes Sir thank you ... my negatives surely are my positives at least in this matter :-)

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  10. This is really a very useful post for all those who want to maintain a healthy body with a young look(Too late for me :-).And also instead of giving tips taken from the net, you have shared from your own experience which is really a good effort.

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  11. hmmm yes mam points taken but how to switch to the smaller plate when you see all those lovely lip smacking delicious fooood.. i want a BIgger plate :(

    but lets see how to get them going

    thanks

    Bikram's

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    1. LOL .... abhi yeh haal toh biwi ke aane ke baad ka haal socho ji :)

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  12. A regimen that is not that tough to follow and that does not scare either.

    A wonderful post.

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    1. oh thanks for that. i wanted to hear that actually :)
      that it is not tough & not scary either :))

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  13. you are quite an ideal person...I also look much younger than my actual age, but I am on the heavier side but active person.

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    1. no Renu not ideal person at all. i don't exercise only. but somehow many little things have actually worked in my favor. for example,i am not crazy about junk food at all :)

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  14. Love this post. Keeping heart young makes you young for sure.
    Thanks for the tip. Fried food and chocolates are my weakness. Need to keep a distance and a watch on the intake.:)

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    1. haha yeah chocolates are most girls' weakness :) and when they start munching, they just can't stop at one :D
      but i guess in your case, your fitness routine comes to your rescue

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  15. You dont eat panipuri and chocolate....OH NO. How can you live? Non-smoking and non-drinking is very good. But chocolate..?? There is a research says eating dark chocolate keeps you slim as it gives Antioxidant to body. These breaks lipid fats. Do not eat 1rs 2rs chocolate much. But Cadbury Dark Chocolate and Rum&Raisins..etc.

    To eat prasad you go to Stayanaryana pooja...typical of you....Goal oriented....hahahaha

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    1. ayyo i dont eat allappa... of course i eat chocolates (not pani-puri aadre!!) it's just that i am not CRAZY about all those :)
      oh i hate dark choc -- the taste is yuck!
      i only like Fruit & Nut and 5- Star

      the pooja .... hehehheheh .... pls invite me next time :))

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  16. Wow...Suji,you are indeed blessed with a healthy lifestyle.Lucky gal.May you always stay healthy.Meanwhile pray for the rest of us who have so many illnesses to look after.This was a fresh blog with simple topic and honest opinions.

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    1. yeah i know. as far as health is concerned God did take care of me in that department. i guess HE really gives some and takes some

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  17. Hey!! very good article...Feeling young at heart is important than looking young.Taking a walk and playing with kids is better than gossiping...I guess no women will involve you in gossiping as you look too young for your age :)...
    sometimes we will be confused whether to take it as compliment of comment...

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    1. i clicked on your name thinking you have a blog too but no blog, no info, no pic nothing

      anyways, thank you very much for the read Dee... :)

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    2. yeah!! nothing in the blog...created with a purpose but nothing posted till now. But updated few things in profile.

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    3. ok no probs. eventually when you do, do let me know. would love to read you

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  18. Depression is one of the main reason for obesity...U heal easily so no real danger of depression ever

    Your list of do's are exactly the same as that of mine except that they are "not to do"...food being a exception :-(

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    1. well, i did go into extreme depression once and even felt suicidal (remember the post "Inside a Suicide"?) but that's all in the past now

      my do's are your not to do's - hhahah that was interesting :)

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  19. Wonderful tips and suggestions and the last one is the best!! :D

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  20. You know, healthy food doesn't make you live long.. life then just feels longer :D

    The queen of flab, Nigella Lawson, lives n looks like a million bucks by eating stuff that are on the wrong side of the calorie boooks.. me thinking is - mayonnaise ka burger khanvanu, beer pivanu majja ni life :D

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    1. hahahahahaha
      no opposition whatsoever to THAT!!!

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  21. You have made the most of both Yin and Yang of your life. Congratulations. And, hey, that qualifies for a legal representation too!

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    1. legal representation !!! what did i do ???

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  22. Cool post Sujatha! One should live their life as they like it, not with a tinge of what others will think about them! WTG girl! I eat a lot and am hyper active..I eat at frequent intervals, but the content will be less..so..yeah it doesn't add too much! But that said..i'am actually adding few extra kgs of weight gradually...But am not bothered!

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    1. exactly!

      in any case, for a few extra kgs there are always some good clothes you can camouflage that with, if need be :D

      yes, that eating frequently is a great tip

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  23. Great tips Sujatha! All this and a positive attitude towards life is all one needs to live a healthy and happy life.

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  24. Really an amazing post and amazing tips!!!

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  25. I do all you do but I am way to healthy. I think medicine is the answer to my extra pounds. But a great post on staying slim and healthy. I wish I am like you after a baby...:)

    Thanks for loads of tips..:)

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    1. yes Saru i have seen way too many people suffering only because of the side-effects of some of the medicines they take but kuch kar bhi toh nai sakte. they have to take them

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  26. Too* Why I do typing mistakes? :P

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    1. did i get that right? you meant medicine is the reason for your extra pounds' right? not 'answer' ?

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  27. I like that intimacy thing.. sounds exciting.

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  28. This is a great post. Just the other day my friends are I were discussing how our mothers looked so much younger, fitter and more gorgeous when they were our age. And it was because of the simplicity of their lifestyles. I can't imagine my mom bingeing on junk food or having a glass of wine thrice a week. The simpler the lifestyle, the more fun (and 'young') it is!

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  29. It has now become routine. Whenever I go outside the gate, the kids playing cricket say, 'Let uncle go, then we'll play'. I still remember playing cricket myself and it feels just like yesterday! If this is happening during my 20's(29's), imagine what will happen during 30+'s??? :O :)

    Destination Infinity

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    1. oh god so sorry but i couldn't help laughing at that "let uncle go..." :DD

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  30. Lovely post. That was a nice little sequel. :)

    This post shows how wonderful and young you are at heart. Really admire you for that. :) And there were some very nice tips and tidbits of advice. Your trauma during pregnancy brought tears to my eyes though.

    Loved a lot of your lines. Were witty, touching and so true. "Men are hopeless at saying no to food". Who can disagree to that? :P :D And playing with children is soo much fun. Can't agree more on that one. :) Brilliant post as always. :)

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    1. thank you :)

      you know Raj i struggled a lot with the length of this post & even then it went beyond my self-imposed 1 page rule :( one additional paragraph ran into the second page. and i had even given as many examples as i wanted to. damn!

      but then i realized this topic is an ocean and one could do a series on this. health is an issue very close to all our hearts

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  31. I really enjoyed this post because I truly believe all of that's essential in keeping yourself feeling and looking young!

    The sad thing is it's pretty much all common sense, but people don't seem to have much of that these days o.O

    That and there are 'easier' and more attractive options like swapping a soda for that water or watching that television show instead of taking a walk.

    Thank you for such a great post ^.^

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    1. well said. it is definitely common sense but of course we ignore it and then years later live to regret and end up spending thousands on treatments/creams/medicines/surgeries & what not

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  32. Good going and I'm envious. You do have some great habits and I'd kill for your kind of metabolism. I need to exercise all the time.. mercifully I've learnt to enjoy it. Cheers to your good health and touch wood too.

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    1. yeah i have heard of people who love to exercise, they say it is such an energy boost and they feel so alive after an hour's workout and i really like that - to see that glow on their faces & their super cool outfits :))
      so its really great to know that you too are one of them

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  33. Very nice Post!!!! its good to see you have such a good metabolism. Awesome suggestions in this post

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    1. thank you Ruchita

      first time on my blog na? thanks a lot for your visit and the read. appreciate it :)

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  34. God bless your good health.

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  35. Well done Sujata in pointing out all the good things and the bad things that eventually turn out to be better things... Here's to good health and looking young.. :) Cheers...

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    1. that one you said it nicely ... good things & bad things turning out to be better things :))

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  36. Super post! Common sense yet so uncommon....

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    1. absolutely Sir - it's all common sense, no textbook or celebrity dietitian ज्ञान and EVERYONE knows it too बस मन लगाके करने की कमी

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  37. LOVE this post for the fantastic wit in it :D but apart form that :D Sujathaaaaaaaaaa I am super Jealoussssssssssssssss of you :D

    But then yes you are blessed to be like that ;)(Touchwood)
    Happy to see you health stay like this :D for ever..

    But then ;)

    Jealoussssssssssssssss of you lol

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    1. LOL .... i am guessing you LOVE pani-puri and chocolates and ice-creams and sweets :)))

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  38. do i love you or what..?!!

    simply loved this post..it was an apt follow up to ur last one! and i can identify with most of the things u said here..i do that myself ( except for the walking bit!! i'd take my vehicle to the next shop too!!)

    "end up with a paunch you can place tea cups on"-hilarious..i could actually imagine that!

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    1. oh thank you so much :)

      ya when there is a two-wheeler at home even for small errands around the house out comes the bike!! even to get curd ... start the bike :D

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  39. Ha ha.. Smaller plates?! Wonderful! :D

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    1. ನಮ್ ಕಡೆ we serve in big stainless steel plates. in that even a big mountain of food looks like a small hillock :D
      and to top it, we've mothers/grannies scolding, "finish everything, ಏನು ಬಿಡಬೇಡ "
      in a situation like that ನಮಗಲ್ ಹೊಟ್ಟೆ ಗತಿ ಏನಾಗಬೇಕು :o)

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  40. Awesome post!!! So full of life.. i was someone who never drank more than 2 cups of water per day... and now recently i made it a point to drink 2 lt evryday without fail.. n i can see the difference alrdy... even though initially i couldnt, my frnds did! And it feels gr8!

    May u be young at heart forever! Touchwood! :)

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    1. that is very right Pranita ... the effects become visible to others even before we begin to notice it in ourselves first

      and with our udupi coastal climate water is must

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  41. All the tips are well taken. I only wish my wife reads them and follows at least some of them . They are also a recipe for a happy married life and that would be good for both of us.

    Thanks for sharing, Suju !

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  42. LOL Sujatha, love your sense of humour! Yay for you, but for the rest of us who love our pani puri, chaats and chocolates, we just got to put in the effort and time exercising. There is no free (and easy) lunch!!

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    1. true!
      my negative (not exercising) is balanced by my positive (not crazy about street/junk food) and in your case it is just the opposite. it really is about how each one finds a middle ground

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  43. Hey Sujatha..ur post was just in time i think!this past one week i had started to worry about gaining weight and like u i too am not an exercise person. so you just gave me a new outlook on this altogether..thanks a ton:)

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    1. my pleasure nameless blogger :) m glad you enjoyed the post. welcome here :)

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  44. Way to go Sujatha. You surely know how to turn negatives into positives! I can understand all aspects but food. You sure? :)

    As after-thought - Jogging increases our life span by 5 yrs (today's times of India article, page 11, I guess) :P

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    1. food - yeah - occasionally i binge but mostly i am a light eater and the ghar ka khana is what satiates me :)
      and if u r wondering about the chocolate thing, yes i am not CRAZY about chocs like most girls are. odd na!

      ok i am going to read that article but not because i want to live longer but because you referred to it :)

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  45. loved your post.. i am just a seccond year grad student and this post has inspired me to stay fit right from today.. the instinctive approach is worth a shot i think.. will have to cut on my cheese eating habits :)...

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    1. 'instinctive approach' - you worded the essence of the post so well Apoorv. thank you :)
      and yes, good luck to you

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  46. Aahh this is the secret behind the beauty :) amazing
    Love easy..cry easy..heal easy..is the mantra. Awesome tips Sujatha.
    This is the first thing i would want my would-be to read :) thank you.

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    1. now that is a rather unique compliment to this post - "...first thing i...want my would-be to read" :))

      thanks Mak

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    2. With my wedding date approaching faster, this was much needed i guess . Thank you Sujatha :)

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    3. ohhhh i see .... maduve huduga !! :))

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  47. Agree with you, with your tips to keep young, absolutely :)
    And hey thanks for your compliment.

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  48. Good one! I like the one on switching to a smaller palate and the exercising bit. Always need those reminders for a healthier lifestyle and a longer younger life!

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    1. yeah smaller plate is the easiest first step towards weight control :)

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  49. With the variety of outfits available today, you can try anything you want. Everything suits you when u are slim. Thanx to your routine and gene pool!!!!

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    1. yes, slimmer people do have a wider variety of clothes to choose from

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  50. I also like walking and cardio exercise and two years back I did pedal yatra from my home (Noida) to India Gate which approx 23 km from my home and during those days I drastically loose weight.
    Smoking n drinking both my weakness but after reading your post I ‘ll maintain distance from them after all I also want to look young:)
    I agree with almost all point and realized how far I am from these thing…nicely written post Sujatha:)

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    1. a pedal yatra - WOW!

      i admire your passion for cycling/exercising

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  51. It's a wonderful post. This is a hot topic for any one at any age. Healthy is the word for all but how is the question as always. My funda was always to eat whatever I like and burn it next day but it proved wrong to me. I realised that best is to limit the calories which is very difficult as I have carving for junk food, choclates and non veg. I tried many ways but nothing worked. So still searching for a right formula. I am sure that this post has given some right direction. I was taken by seeing ur post as I remember your last post was also about similar topic. I think this will be one of your most commented blog. Keep entertaining us. You are blessed and we too....you by blessed to write great posts and we by coming across ur blogs..

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  52. Gopinath,

    thank you so much, i am glad you liked the post.
    true, we need to find our own ways & means of staying healthy

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  53. and am a big follower of all of them...except the preg .. part :P

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    1. heheheheh .....that's the part you will have o watch out for though - eventually :))

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  54. LOL! Awesome Sujatha! I'm coming back here after such a long time! And it's great to read something so rejuvenating as this!!!!! :)

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    1. thank you Jen.

      you did go missing (from your own blog) for a loooong time.

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  55. wow..from the number of comments on this post it is clear that you are very popular and that many people want to stay healthy and they want to read your magical formula :) nice tips.....

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    1. haha yeah health/weight loss is a topic that gets many going :)

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  56. thanks.. this was a really cool post and gave a lot of 'other options' to staying healthy... hopefully I'll be able to atleast maintain a couple. Heaven knows I need to.

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    1. :)) one more to the 'exercise averse club' haan? :)

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  57. Nice post Sujatha :)I definetly agree that age is just a state of mind. You are as old as you feel. And about the pregnancy thing, I have to agree post delivery its tough to lose the kilos gained. :)

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    1. yes, it takes some time for the new gained weight to go off

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  58. I wish 'I' could digest an elephant in a few hours. I put on weight if some food even passed by me. :(.
    Good for you, girl. I'm happy for you. :)

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    1. hahaha... naah! that ability (digesting a whole animal !!) is not given to everyone :D

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  59. I nominated you for an award! Do check!!! :)

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  60. Am late here..
    I do agree with all you have to say about maintaining one's body and thereby youth. I have a natural gene too in being on the slimmer side and I also take care to eat healthy and not over-eat. I do not get strong cravings for food or a particular type of food, so am lucky in that sense.

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    1. yup, lucky we are that way. we don't really have to "resist" food

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  61. And I m sure this tip will go a long way :D Agreed on the fact that shorter ppl do tend to look smaller :D I m 5'2 too :D

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    1. haha ... welcome to the "short and young" club :))

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  62. I live my life almost in a similar way except for the eating part of it. I love good food and if my fav is on the menu, I go on till my stomach starts to ache. But then my physical activity (especially the speed at which I walk) takes care of the excess.

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    1. true ... weight is really a matter of input - output. if the exercise/ physical activity is in place then eventually things fall into place

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  63. really nicely written..... loved the part about how you can digest an elephant :-)

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    1. hahah.... it's not fully true though ... elephant part :D

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  64. Sujatha, You write very simply and beautifully. I like this style. And the point you made, "sometimes taking yourself too seriously does nothing but add carcinogens to your body", is relevant.

    And in contrary, you wrote that you would rather walk miles and miles as you can't ride/drive while you making it clear that you hate to exercise and jog through some other lines.

    Actually the jogging or exercising is done by your miles of walking. Isn't it?!!!
    Good post...
    Keep touch

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    1. Shukoor, thank you for liking the post. and the feedback too. Actually i really hate walking. It tires me easily. But the thing is since i cant ride sometimes i have no choice but to walk to nearby places so my negative which is my not liking exercise has become my positive which is that it is giving me the exercise i need :) That is what i mentioned - my negatives becoming my positives

      hope i made myself clear now :))

      thanks a lot again

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  65. Ah. I'm insanely jealous of you Sujatha.:-)
    No craze for Pizzas, chocolates, paani puris, Great Metabolism, Gene factor, do you realize you have what most of us want? :-)
    Anyway, jokes apart, I agree with what you have said, Age is just a number and having an active lifestyle will do us more wonders, than allotting a separate time to workout. But the problem with most of us is that we do not get to be active. Sedantry Lifestyle it is. So we have no other choice than to stick to those work out regimes.

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  66. Ashwini,
    i agree - sedentry lifestyles today are to be blamed. no wonder, gyms are mushrooming in every area / corner of the cities these days

    haha - yes i am weird in that sense - i don't crave for any of those calorie rich food :D and blessed too with genes

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  67. Very simple, honest...yet so effective way of saying things! Loved this writing! You said it rightly "gene-pool" should be the first thing before we talk about other things. I am sure a simple living mother like you must have definitely passed right genes to your kid too!

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  68. Gosh, you're so lucky!! I tend to gain so easily... have to stay on a very strict diet .... no fried, no cheese, no butter/ghee etc.... :( such is life if i wanna stay thin.
    Anyway, awesome post!

    Your blog's new follower,
    A.

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  69. Thank you A for the follow

    and yes, some do tend to gain easily. the gene pool is a huge factor

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