My version of 40 under 40 — Orbit shifting transformation
“There is nothing permanent except change.”
Starting with this cliché quote this time. Though the change I am going to speak about today, has been anything but cliché for me.
40 under 40!
I lost 40 kgs at the age of 40 — One of the most transformative and audacious journeys I have experienced in my personal life.
I am going to use this space to talk about three learnings that will remain with me for life.
As I am writing this, the title itself gives me goosebumps. I am super thrilled and extremely overwhelmed to share this one with you. Bear with me, like you always have :)
The universe has extraordinary ways of reaching us. We must keep our eyes and ears open.
In all our slam books, there used to be a question that we still repeatedly use — Who is your inspiration? The last few months made me learn how inspiration can come from anyone and anywhere. We need to pay heed to the cues.
A little over 6 months ago (covid times as we call it), a colleague and a dear friend of mine, Siddharth Nautiyal mentioned how he had taken up to focus on his health rather than meandering along in these extraordinary times.
The conversation stayed with me. And as the universe had planned it, I came across this post from a complete stranger.
Not by people around me, not by those TV ads, not by some role models, but inspired by these instances and stories, I decided to embark on this journey towards health and fitness.
A strong purpose needs a stronger support system. We must identify it and value it.
In my case, it was my Mom. From the very beginning till today (6 months now), my Mom stood stronger than me. It wouldn’t have been the same (or even possible) if not for her support, belief and patience. I can’t tag her here as she is not on LinkedIn, but without her mention, it’s incomplete. She deserves every bit of credit for this transformative journey in my life.
If she wasn’t around catering to all my dietary requirements and putting all her culinary skills to use to make my food palatable, I would not be writing this post today, in all probability.
The last 6 months reinforced the fact that to achieve anything significant, we need one hell of a support system.
‘If you want something bad enough, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse.’
Couldn’t have put this better than this quote.
If it’s not a priority, it’s not happening. As simple as that.
If you want to achieve something significant, you gotta make that as your top priority.
For many years, it has been on my mind to focus on fitness, but it never manifested in my efforts. It was always good to do, but never a must-do for me. And that’s why I always found reasons to not do it.
Some days, I was just too tired, some days I was just too stressed, some days I was just too happy to not order that Baskin Robbins family pack.
For a born foodie like me, the mere thought of a controlled diet was not more than a joke until 6 months back.
However, once that moon-shot goal of 40 under 40 was firmly established, everything else fell in place.
At the risk of reiterating myself, if it’s important enough, we will always find a way. We must ensure if it’s important enough for us, before investing into something.
This brings me to one more thought, a very significant one at that.
It’s not necessary that everyone’s ‘important’ is the same.
At times, our ‘important’ can coincide with someone else’s (like that of my friend Siddhartha’s and the complete stranger’s whose post I came across), but we cannot push someone to align their priorities with ours.
In the last couple of months, I have been approached by many people to advise their kids or siblings or better halves on how to go about a journey like mine. I am happy to do that. I am happy to share all I know and all I can, but unless it comes from within the individual, it means zilch.
No one can make (or has the right to make) something a priority for someone else. It loses all its magic and significance.
Being born to a Fauji Dad (not on LinkedIn either), I know of all techniques one could come up with to convince someone into doing something. My Dad must have used a thousand different techniques, from positive to negative to all in-between reinforcements that he could, to persuade me towards getting fit and healthy.
Emphasis on the ‘Fauji’ part. These guys are persuasive beyond measure.
But nothing worked until the last 6 months happened. To say that he is the happiest person with this transformation of mine would be an understatement :)
This journey has been all about these 3 words -
‘ Conviction, Courage, Conquer.’
Today, I ‘know’ that nothing is impossible. For anything that you want to achieve, just keep listening to the universe. Value your support system. And know your priorities.
Right thing at the wrong time can be worse than the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Finally, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I will post a ‘before & after’ picture of mine and that too on a public forum but then as they say “a picture is worth a thousand words” :)
Left: Before, Right: After
I gotta say, I have made myself proud :) But most importantly, it’s the learnings that I am most proud of. I hope they reach people who need to hear it.
By the way, my little one, Meher, always chooses the ‘before’ pic when asked which Papa she likes more — so much for innocence and unfiltered love! As far as my better half is concerned, she is just glad that she doesn’t need to second guess if my shirt size will be available in the brands she wants me to wear :)