In the evenings, when I come back from ‘work’, something that I have very recently started on, I sit on a slab of concrete just outside my rooftop room and look out to find that horizon I adored looking at as a kid. Frankly, it’s not visible anymore. There are skyscrapers, and tall building, and houses, and then some more buildings in the line of my sight. So I sit there on that slab, and call my Mom. She still doesn’t pick my call and drops it, calling me back the very next minute. I tell her that I am ‘home’ ,tell her about the day I had at work, and while I am doing that, the view in front of my eyes keeps getting better and better. If I pay close attention to a particular detail, I can even find a resemblance of a point where the sky really meets the land. I call this little point of space and time as ‘happiness’.
“You will suffer when you go to hostel, the food there is pathetic”, was what everyone told me when I was a kid. Especially the elder siblings or cousins have a way of knowing more than their youngsters, don’t they? Or they pretend doing so even if there is but a year-long gap between your ages. Somehow, that extra year in their lives ALWAYS IS the most excruciating and full of enlightenment. And then when you pass through the same year, you realize that things weren’t as bad as they said; In fact, they were quite good, even enjoyable. I spent 4 years of my college life eating the tastiest, healthiest food one could hope for when one’s away from home. And I made sure I let all of my ‘enlightened’ cousins know that. 🙂
And now, as I began my journey from the splendid North to the lovely South, I had a deja vu of the warnings- “Oh you survived college, but this would finally get the better of you. You would pray to eat at least a good meal in a month”. Once again, the optimist has prevailed. Somehow, I am able to derive as much pleasure from my meals every single time of the day as I used to back home. I call my Mom back every night to let her know this; to let her know that what she’s heard are all lies and she can happily put all her concerns to rest. And after I have done that, a 6-7 hour sleep makes for my ultimate health schedule.
Now here comes the twist. When you read about ‘being healthy’ these days, all you can think of is cutting on fats, cholestrol, about including more proteins and fibres in your diet and what not. What about the flip side of it?
“I don’t remember enjoying a meal since a year or two. I just eat now” , I overheard in a cafeteria while the guy was noshing upon a plateful of Chicken Biryani.
Is food really that bad? What do people really want to eat? Pastries and Chocolates and pies? What’s preventing them from being healthy and what’s preventing them from being happy? Is it because the ‘Happy meals’ aren’t all that healthy?
If we try to imagine that dream people usually have – “If I did not have any concerns of getting fat, I would enjoy so many delicacies which exist out there”. Do you think that would really be true were it possible? I don’t think so. I don’t suppose that a person who cannot enjoy his/her three squares a day would really be able to derive any amount of pleasure from overeating and choking on a boxful of whatever dreamy-land candy clouds one imagines would make them happy. How can we even dare to talk about being healthy if one is not enjoying whatever one gets to eat everyday?
I’ve been on a diet for a month and a half now. Don’t worry, it’s not as serious as it sounds, just that I am watching what I eat ( That’s a lie because I am going for a planned calorie count and not exceeding a certain value). I am also putting in some kilometers behind that calorie chart now. I can’t really tell how well it’s working out but still, the days are long but they don’t tire me at all, the food is less but I enjoy every bite of it. And while I still do get to nosh upon some Biryani (Veg Biryani i.e. and don’t tell me it’s just pulaao because it’s NOT), I am not letting it get to the flab over my tummy. Should I make a bold declaration that I am healthy? I don’t know if I should, but I am certainly happy.
I was in class 7 when I read that WHO definition of health being a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. I think I abide by it now more than I ever did. There are always times when you catch a disease but you fight out of it healthier than ever. There are times when life’s going through a rough patch and tensions from all around seem to be draining you out. But you always manage to come out stronger, right? There may be times when the pocket’s bit tight to hang about with your preferred company, but hey, that 1st day of the month is soon coming right? The best way of being in the prime of your health is thus, not merely giving up fats and carbs, and exercising the hell out till your feet are paining. It’s about finding the things in your busy schedule that make you happy; those that make you and your mind ENJOY the little yummy things that actually get served on the dinner table. It’s about imagining what you eat as a ‘treat’ to yourself, rather than just a breakdown of carbs, fats and proteins to keep your body fueled.
Remember, when you browse through a list of health problems, you find obesity, diseases and lethargy. But you never find the loss of everyday little pleasures of life. AND THAT IS a mistake, take my word for it.
PS- The Author is 23 years of age and has lived in 3 metropolitan cities through the years. And he has never eaten a market-made Pizza in his life and only recently ate his first Mcburger. This is just a trivia and not in any form an advice. Enjoy your food and remember to exercise. And when you come back from work, do the thing that makes your day just right.