From Dad to BoxerDad…

February, 2016


Suburban Diagnostics Centre, Borivali West.
I can never forget the date and the place. I was horrified when I looked down at the scale on which I was standing. In the steel grey environment of the diagnostic centre where I was going through my annual medical checkup, the number ‘103.5 KGs’ stared back at me. The doctor going through my reports looked at me and told me that all my vital indicators of good health were borderline, cholesterol, sugar, blood pressure and I needed to get my act together when it came to my health. To say that I was surprised would be wrong since I had already read the signs before. The reports just confirmed it.
“Since the last 4-5 months I had the feeling that all was not well with my health. What were the signs?”
  • Waking up in the morning feeling groggy and lethargic.
  • Feeling extremely sleepy during the day
  • Feeling very heavy and restless, particularly in the second half of the day
  • Feeling tired towards the day end
  • Feeling lazy to start anything new
  • Reaching home and going to sleep! yes, at 8pm in the night without eating dinner, then waking up at 11 PM and eating like a crazy haggard and then staying awake till 1:30-2 AM watching TV aimlessly only to wake up in the morning feeling, yes you guessed right, feeling groggy and lethargic.

I had got into this vicious cycle and was unable to break this one. The worst effect of this was having no energy to play with Vivaan, my 5 year old son, who used to look forward to me coming back home from office and spend time with him when all I wanted to do was to hit the bed and SLEEP!

As I stood on the scale, I could not believe the man that I had become. Being used to playing outdoor sports all my life, I was always reasonably fit although I was a big foodie. But playing a game of cricket every weekend and badminton 2-3 times a week was good enough to burn off the nalli niharis, butter chicken and the ras malais. What had though happened in the last 2-3 years was that my work travel had increased substantially. Because of which I had absolutely no time for sports. When you travel 3 days a week and have reduced time to spend with family, on top of it if you play cricket over the weekend there can only be mayhem from the wife. And that’s exactly what happened. So instead of following a food schedule of “parhez (discipline)” I let go of my sports and that caused havoc in my body. One does not realise how fat creeps up into your body and how one fine day your jeans don’t fit, your shirts get tighter around the middle and you blame the fit of the clothes and just end up buying a larger size. Slowly and steadily from a shirt size of 40L and waist size of 32 I had reached 44XXL and 36 on the waist!

The scale reminded me of all that I had gained, weight & fat, and all that I had lost, energy and playfulness. That very moment itself I made a promise to myself that I will not spend one more day with this weight and immediately fixed up a meeting with my nutritionist who was more than happy to counsel me on changing my lifestyle. It was a painstaking journey of breaking the vicious cycle and doing all the right things slowly and steadily. I will write more about what I did to get fit, but that’s for another day. I will just say, however, that it took me intense discipline of around 3 months to knock off 10 kilos, inspite of my rigorous travel. Around July 2016 is when I decided to add another mix to this and planned to pick up a sport playing which regularly would keep me fighting fit. BOXING! This is a sport that I had never played in my life but had always loved to watch thanks to my most favorite film franchise “ROCKY”. Sylvester Stallone as Rocky remains my true cinematic inspiration and motivated by this I hired a young boxer and started training for it right in my parking basement. And it’s been a cool 16 months and my regime continues. I now weigh around 86 kgs and am fighting fit. In my last medical report, the doctor assessed my fitness to be equal to that of an athlete!

Each day I get better, stronger, faster & fitter to take on each day and its challenges. Pretty much everything that a modern dad faces today at work and in life. Plus, I feel I have the energy to match up to my son so that he feels “my dad is very cool!”. I overheard him gloat to his friends the other day “My dad is a boxer and he is the strongest dad in the world “ …Well that sums up what I felt like then. I don’t feel like a superdad, I feel like a BoxerDad!

If you want to break the cycle of fatness, here’s what you should keep in mind:
  • The right time to start is NOW
  • Consult a nutritionist, don’t do it yourself. Nothing can help you like a good diet can.
  • Ditch the colas and everything that comes packed in a packet/tetra pack.
  • Pick up an active sport. If you can, hire a coach or just find a committed partner.
  • Best, if you like running, lace up and hit the road. The road is free!
  • Wake up early. I wake up at 5:30 AM and finish my workout by 7. Nothing like getting this out of the way before your day gets consumed with other things.
  • Sleep. All of the above is useless if you don’t get enough sleep. We have lights out at 9:30 PM all through the weekdays.
  • And last but not least, DO NOT stress. The day you start if the day you start getting better. Fitness is not a race, it’s Kaizen. Continuous Improvement. Make today better than yesterday