If you have been serious about your health and fitness, chances are that you’ve been skimping over myriads of those magic pills and powder ads on your Facebook wall – and getting equally baffled by the choice available and their claims!
Well, I’m going to make it easy for you. I’m NOT going to talk about any of them.
Instead, I’ll focus on those supplements that you got to have but don’t have to buy or ingest.
70% of folks who say they want to “get fit” or “lose weight” don’t end up doing so. WHY?
Because they are not motivating themselves correctly!
“You have to set very specific fitness goals, albeit small, achievable, and specific – My target was to lose 1 kg every 10 days.”, A Program Manager at Juniper Networks, mom to a 10-year old, and wife to a serial enterpreneur, she recollects going to the gym at nights after gruelling work-days, even amidst quibbles from her family. She achieved her target weight loss in less than 9 months. And there has been no stopping her ever since!
“And then, let the results take over. There is nothing more addicting than seeing the results of your hard work. It puts you in motion.”
She is a serious runner today. She sets fitness goals every year. Her current goal is to run a full 42 km marathon. (May you beat this goal with the same vigour, Juri!)
Actually, you know everything there is to keep you healthy and fit. The supplement you need is the right motivation.
Begin by setting the right goals. Goals, that scare you a little but excite you A LOT.
Last year, my husband, in front of a roomful of family, announced his resolution to meditate everyday in the new year. (Such an emphatic public announcement when he had never ever meditated before, felt like an act of drunken exuberance to me!) But the next morning, when I was woken up by soothing meditation music on our Google Home, I realized that he was not kidding. Over the next few months, I saw him experiment with various meditation apps, styles, groups, even buddies. Everyday, his phone buzzed the meditation reminders. There was a meditation ringtone. He even got our 10-year old into meditation. Spending quality time has a a new meaning for him now.
But lo and behold, he did end up meditating for about 320 days last year!
(Yes, we did present him the Salman Khan award in the commitment category of our household, for his apt exhibition of “Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, uske baad to mai khud ki bhi nahi suntaa..!” (Once I have made a commitment, I don’t even listen to myself!))
The moral of the story is: Its tough to follow through, on new goals. Esp. since your brain is wired to resist new routines in favor of what its programmed to do. So you have to use all the arsenal at your disposal and persist. Eventually, the new routine turns into a habit. The brain operates on auto-pilot after that.
Lets talk about my other friend, Puja Singh. You’d have no dearth of excuses to be lax on your fitness routine if you are a globe-trotting businesswoman/restaurateur, a full-time mom, and living in three different timezones! But Puja is on auto-pilot, when it comes to her daily fitness habits. For her, whether she is in San Francisco or Singapore or Bengaluru, the day cannot start without yoga and HIIT or kick-boxing. A few years ago, she probably hadn’t even seen a deadlift…Now, on a bad day, she’d lift about 93 kgs.
Here’s one way to inject a daily dose of discipline:
Announce your goals to the people in your life. Post it on Facebook, if thats your thing. Let the force of social pressure keep you disciplined.
What is your reaction when confronted by pretty-looking servers nudging you to try sinful starters at parties? I bet most of you oblige without much ado!
Being mindful is to train your mind to be vigilant of these indulgent impulses. It starts with paying attention to yourself; putting awareness to your thoughts.
What are your indulgent impulses?
After some soul-searching, I’ve figured out mine. I love to waste time on random minutiae. Now, how does that affect my fitness and well-being? Lets take last night as a case in point. I had a deadline that I couldn’t finish in normal daylight hours. (Damn you, social media!) That made me sleep late. (And you know, I need my 8 hours of beauty sleep!) This made me miss my early morning yoga session. I dragged myself to the gym, much later than usual. By the time I came back, breakfast turned into lunch….You get the point, right?!
Mindfulness is the link that can can bridge the gap from our mobile, digitally-frenzied lifestyles to a state of well-being.
For starters, try taking this daily dose of “mindfulness” supplement:
Have one meal a day, just by yourself. No Screens. No newspaper. No talking.
And finally, Oxytocin!
For all the folks, who think I’ve relented and am finally going to talk about a “real” supplement, I’m sorry to disappoint! 😦 coz Oxytocin is nothing but a hormone our body produces.
But why do we need a daily dose of oxytocin? Strong empirical evidence suggest its unrefuted role in our overall well-being and longevity. It also reduces the effects of cortisol(the stress hormone) and leads to the release of serotonin (the happiness hormone). So, a magic potion for health and happiness really!
And the great news is, it is the easiest of them all. Our close relationships, strong social bonds, and even altruistic acts – all contribute to promoting oxytoxin in our body.
So, go ahead, folks…get your daily oxytocin supplement:
Give a hug. Love your family. Hang out with your friends. Get social…(not just through social media). And help someone. You are indeed helping yourself.
ps: Now, if you’ve come till here, and still feeling cheated to have gotten lured by a “catchy” title, you can comment, holler, or shoutout! If you make enough noise, it may just inspire me to write a post on supplements of the popping variety! 🙂