Apr 1

Fitness 2016 – Quarterly update/ Check-in (Featuring Loopholes and Audio books)

Hey Guys!

As promised in the post where I set my fitness goals for 2016, I am back for the first quarter update/check-in. If you are new to my blog – you can check out the backstory here and my fitness goals here.

But essentially, this year I have had one broad goal in mind – to work towards developing a healthier lifestyle. Since this is a change of lifestyle that I seek – I realize it is going to be a slower process, which is fine with me. I would rather take baby steps towards achievable goals, than set lofty, unrealistic expectations, which I don’t meet anyway.

Now coming to the update – there are 2 areas where I had set goals; food (because l really need some discipline here) and exercise (outside of running behind my toddler).



Here I had a ban list, which included – Chips, Soda, Pizza. I have been more successful in this area than I had expected. I did not eat even a single potato chip (but..there is a but here that we will come to later) in the last 3 months, and while I have had Pizza and Soda once during a party, that is it.

Just one time in 3 months is pretty good (for me), especially considering my earlier addiction to this junk. But you know what is even better? When I did have these things at the party, I found myself neutral to the taste of Pizza, and I really disliked the Soda; it did nothing for me (gosh, I’d never thought I’d say this!). Which is why I think I have successfully weaned myself from aerated drinks (optimism, yes) and that is the real victory here.

Now, to address the ‘but’ in the chips department. Yes, I did not eat them at all, BUT I have eaten lots of other fried junk (hello loopholes!) – and this kind of defeats the purpose, even though I have held up this particular ban.

Going forward..

I will remove the ban from Pizza, mostly because I don’t find myself wanting to eat it at all. But I will still keep it on Soda (just in case) and extend the ban on Chips to include ALL kinds of packaged fried snacks (okay, just writing this makes me very very nervous, but I must, I must!). 

I intend to replace fried snacks for fruits (I always have the best intentions!), and track 8 glasses of water/day.


Here my goal was to do 30 mins of Cardio – 4 days a week. This was an epic fail.  I started off well; kept up the 30 minutes per day, 4 days a week thing for the first 2 weeks. And then we had a massive snowstorm. That broke my momentum, and I kind of just gave up after that. I know that it is a silly excuse, but the thing is, I have mastered silly excuses for putting off exercise over the years, and like they say, old habits die hard.

Nonetheless, when the weather started warming up, I was filled with renewed enthusiasm for staying fit. But I was fully aware that I had to have a plan to keep this going, else history is just going to repeat itself.

I used to listen to music while walking/running, and it used to help, but not much. This time I tried something different – audiobooks! I plugged in, and decided to tackle this cardio monster, while listening to Ms. Tina Fey reading Bossypants! And boy what a success this was! I was eager to listen more, and I only allowed myself to listen to the audiobook while I walked/ran, which meant that the only way that I could complete the book was if I kept up with the exercise. Win-win! 😀

Going forward..

Since the audio-book-cardio combination has been working for me – that is what I plan to continue doing; just changing it to 45 minutes per day for 3 days a week. Mostly because, as of now, 3 days is more realistic than 4, and 30 minutes is a little too short a time (for me) to complete a decent chunk of the audio-book.

The only (minor) issue here is that I almost always sport a silly grin as I walk/run, because Ms. Fey is just too awesome, and I am sure many of my neighbors think I am  more-than-a-little loony, but whatever. It’s not like I am going to live here forever. In-fact I am planning to move soon. So feel free to judge me, you people!

That is all from my end, folks. I would love to hear from you guys. Do you have any fitness goals for 2016? How are you doing with them? Do share.

– Shantala

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  1. Bravo, Shantala! You’re getting there! Good luck for the rest of the journey 🙂
    Hema recently posted…Lost and Found!My Profile

  2. Congrats on all the successes you had. I used to drink soda years ago and like you, once I quit, I couldn’t drink it anymore. I’ve been doing okay on my stationery bike during the winter but walking outside is so much better. Go away, winter.
    Susan Gourley recently posted…A: A to Z Blogging ChallengeMy Profile

  3. My goodness you are an inspiration. I’ve been struggling with my fitness routine trying out all kinds of things but not being able to form a routine. What’s worse it’s going to remain like this for the next two months till the kids get back to school. Meanwhile short term measures will have to do. I like the idea of moving towards a healthy lifestyle and cutting out chips and sodas. In fact I’m thinking of having days of ‘fasting’ when I completely cut off sugar at least for one or two days in a week. You do keep updating your progress here please. It’s a great reminder.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…The things I’ve seen this morningMy Profile

  4. I too recently started on audiobooks when going on my morning walks! I’m currently listening to Aziz Ansari read his Modern Romance and he is so funny! He makes me want to walk more just so that I can keep listening!

    Great job you’re doing there especially with the chips!

    Btw, have you made your own pizza? I think pizza can be healthy(ish) if you put the right stuff on it (and use some whole wheat flour in the dough).
    Sharlene recently posted…Recent reads, recent lovesMy Profile

  5. This is so inspiring, Shantala. I love how you meticulously track your habits. Like even eight glasses of water a day. I am inspired. I haven’t come up with any fitness goals. But, now that I have read your post, I am beginning to think about it. Thank you. And continue being awesome! 😀
    Deepika Ramesh recently posted…When A Boy Gave Me His HeartMy Profile

  6. Nice to see you pursuing your fitness goals, Shanaya. Not only will that help you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle (God knows it’s essential today) but also in your writing and other creative pursuits.

    If you ever come across challenges during cardio and exercise, you can check out a few High Intensity Training exercises which you can do at home also. Check out videos by Justin Yeoh on YouTube.

  7. I love audiobooks while walking! Sometimes I throw in very short segments of jogging, and then I switch to music. But a lot of times it’s the audiobook that gets me up and out in the morning. Good luck with all of your goals!

  8. Good on you for reviewing and making changes. Someone told me if we fall off the wagon, we should just pick ourselves up and start again.

    My fitness has been shocking this year! I’ve lost motivation to exercise due to having to change gyms and my new working hours. My eating has been bad too thanks to stress. I was hoping to start again this week but then fell sick on Sunday night and haven’t exercised so far although I have tried eating healthy this week.
    Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life recently posted…Sisterhood of the World BloggersMy Profile

  9. Happy to read your fitness updates. Keep your goals and Stay strong and fit !!!

  10. awesome… you have already controlled your diet 😀
    Picking up after a break requires all the will power… I struggle with it all the time 🙂
    Good luck in reaching your goals 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Damn these Ducks #atozchallengeMy Profile

  11. Congrats dear on whatever you have achieved. Small steps to success. I am sure you will reach your target soon.

  12. Lata Sunil says:

    You are doing well Shantala. It is extremely difficult to maintain after the initial enthu wears off. All the best on your goals.

  13. I like the idea of using audiobooks to motivate yourself. I am going to steal that idea and try to apply it 🙂 I need to exercise very badly.

  14. Bravo for your success with your fitness and diet goals. You inspire me especially with the pizzas. This is one junk I can’t stop from enticing me. I have once every 15-20 days. Go ahead with your running/cardio and the audio book. Watching the headphones on your head I am sure your neighbours must be feeling envy for the happiness on your face and wondering if they too can get hold of whatever you are listening to and add some smiles to their lives. 🙂
    Anamika Agnihotri recently posted…Fear of helplessnessMy Profile

  15. Great you are controlling your diet. I also have taken My Health Pledge this year. I am happy its going on well. Good luck to you.

  16. Maybe people will just think you are really happy about exercising? I bet Tina Fey is great to listen to while exercising. I am trying to stick to my stationary bike 3x a week and I read at the same time too!
    Lindsey recently posted…Literary Life: You’ve Lost that Loving FeelingMy Profile

  17. I am glad taht you are keeping track of the goals you had set at the start of the year. I remember reading about it. Pizza is a craving I can never ever resist. Hats off to you who managed
    Seeya recently posted…Cooking WizardryMy Profile

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