Life Lessons

Are we allowed to dream?

 

Self motivation and love for our own self is often termed as being selfish.

But how selfish should you be then? Are you not even allowed to dream?

Our self worth is often calculated in terms the society deems respectable and correct.

Are you rich? Definitely worth it.

Are you beautiful? Gorgeously worth it?

Do you have a big social circle? You are in!!??

But, does all of this truly make us happy?

I dream of making it in the big city. The Big Apple and there have been roadblocks but I persist. and I will.

As a former fat girl, I get to evaluate a before and after me, a chance many people do not get.

I have grown every single day into a human being my parents would be proud of and let’s face it, they are the only ones worth doing anything for.

I feel like we should be a train on a journey of self happiness and fulfilment and the people we meet and join in with are coaches but we are the engine.

We should never ever change our track for anyone and if they like you for who you are, they WILL join in or leave and that is OK.

But

Dream on and don’t care about the labels the world throws on us.

We are so much beyond labels.

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Life Lessons

The liberty to choose a partner

Love.

Aren’t we all just a little bit obsessed with it?

We love watching romance films, reading novels that give us butterflies in the stomach and day dreaming about that dream boat you exchanged glances with.

In India and some other parts of the world, love seems to have been hijacked by insecure parents, societal demands and astrology. In an age old tradition of arranging marriages, relationships are being butchered and people sold off as perfect matches.

On paper, this seems like such a perfect concept, you match the class, type and anything else of two people, parents are happy with the family (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT IN INDIA) and lo! You are married off?

I don’t understand why the society and parents like to be in between two people, but that’s how arranged marriages work.

It is sad for me to see people still encouraging something like this where a personal choice is taken and made public, the topic of who you should marry ceases to lie with you but with your local neighbourhood aunty, relatives and experts.

It doesn’t matter if you are compatible or not.

It does not matter if you love each other of not.

And it definitely does not matter that one family will try and spread patriarchy as much as possible.

Well, i can get tired of tired of writing but this nonsense does not seem to stop.

Rather be single than be involved in an arranged marriage.

So, I shot a video rant with a funny girl and if you want, watch it for some laughs.

HERE is the video.

Life Lessons

Men do not stare at me at the GYM

I am at the gym, rushing through the sidewalk in a large coat with my active wear under me. I am almost always too excited at the prospect of the gym to waste time in the changing room.

I open the door and a cool breeze welcomes me and I know I am home.

I take off my coat and reveal a tight pair of grey gym pants, my favourite piece from Gap I got at a bargain in New Jersey.

My sports bra clings on my breasts and have a blue and often white cotton top to avoid any accidental boob slippage.

I walk down the shiny plastic red lit staircase to the basement where the heavy weights are, tightening my fanny pack and taking out my gym gloves to wear.

I stare at my reflection the in the mirror. A red haired girl stares back, a tribal tattoo peeking out from her left breast, a sneaky quote on her left wrist and a symbol on her neck. I raise my arms to tighten my hair and my grandmothers’ names on my arm peek out. All off these, surrounding me and giving me comfort.

The music blasts on and I put on my blue headphones at maximum volume, ready to lift and lift heavy.

As a woman who lives in the city, being comfortable with your body and the inherent nakedness that comes with at the gym are two paradoxical lives I have lived.

In the gym, while deadlifting, I would always push all off my top inside my sports bra to avoid any piece of cloth being stuck in my waist belt and while working out any body part, I make sure clothes are not a part of it.

Will I get stared at?

Will I get nasty comments or comments that would make me feel disgusting about being a woman?

A common answer would be yes, maybe.

But, to my surprise, I am never stared at. The gym is surrounded by people working their asses off on a schedule and is full of mirrors. Appreciative glances are passed and acknowledged at a good form, at a heavy weight you are lifting and at an amazing muscle pump you get and that is that.

90 minutes later, I step out, in my coat, a hoodie or a hat on my head and the only way you would know I am a woman is by looking at my breasts and behind and that is enough for men to stare at me.

They cannot see my eyes or my face.

They see red hair peeking out and curves and that walk is the most excruciatingly painful walk ever.

You can call out a cat-caller or fight someone who tries to touch you, but what do you do to people who stare at you and mentally undress you?

I often ask myself why would they do this? What do they gain from it? It is not like I hand out my number to any guy who stares at my body parts.

I found this open letter to men who stare and it connected with me.

Have you also faced this?

Have you been stared at and made to feel uncomfortable?

Please read this and comment with your experience.

Open Letter to Men who Stare

#metoo

 

 

fitness, Life Lessons

My Drunken Nights: Does Alcohol and Fitness Mix?

As it is Friday and we are all getting ready and headed off to drinks with friends, a session with wine and Netflix or plain simple house party. And we deserve it!

We have worked so hard the whole week that we need to unwind.

Now, alcohol haters will say there are other ways to unwind and relax and you do not need to intoxicate yourself. I beg to differ. I prefer days I can lounge and drink red wine and have a gossip session with my girlfriends. Or I like a strong pre-game night and club hopping with my friends and meeting cute guys over gin and tonic.

And my personal favourite? Getting sloshed on diet coke and rum and dancing away the night.

But, as I lost the weight and went deeper in the world of fitness, I realised how such nights, even one such night hampered my progress for almost a week. I would eat more, kill my diet, I would lie with a horrible hangover and I would lose my mental peace.

So, here I share a video where I talk about how Alcohol affects fitness.

WATCH THE VIDEO

On a lighter note I share some of my most memorable drinking stories. Do you have one? Comment with a fun thing that happened when you were pissed.

  1. As I mentioned in a video here. I once had two whole bottles of red wine and remembered the night. So, I had a major crush on this guy (who, I later found out was gay ) and was invited to a house party where he would be there. Now, in order to hide my embarrassment and my love for him, I started off with my house guest gift bottle and kept drinking, flirting as much as I could with him, thinking it was a successful night. I was the perfect faux hostess, handing out food, sharing funny stories and my love for Bollywood. I also made it a point to give an update to my best friend every 15 mins and needless to say, the next day and the few days later, I was shattered when I found out where his interests lay. Oh, and he had a serious boyfriend as well.
  2. The rum and coke night: A friend wanted to set me up with another friend of his. I was not too keen but it was a thursday and drinks would be cheap and I was tired from all the school work, so I sauntered off. I bought some drinks and some drinks were bought for me. I met the guy and did not think much of him. I met another guy who was married (My luck IS that good). We started dancing, the set up was sloshed on beer (light weight) and the married guy was chaperoning everyone (who gets married so young!!??) and then I met a guy who in my rum induced haze looked like Tom Cruise to me. I was a happy girl and my friends had to physically be around me all the time to prevent me from going and asking him if he was Tom Cruise (thank you for not letting me embarrass myself).
  3. The Vodka Incident: At a filmmakers mixer, I was a wingman for a friend who had it bad for another. Now, I don’t usually do setups but then they were both good friends and I genuinely thought she liked him. So I set up a date for them, sort of (I was third wheeling in my head) and kept buying them drinks and kept the conversation flowing and when she finally left the place, I thought it was a success. To celebrate, my friend and I went to another club pretending to be man and wife to avail a special discount, used my card again and again and the morning after had to call the father to get some money in order to not default.

Such is life.

It might seem interesting or a funny read but the pain of the hangover and the silly antics have put me off alcohol and the fact that now that I see my muscles and abs, I don’t want to run around with a beer belly or a red wine baby and ruin it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Lessons

Who am I: The get to know me tag on youtube

Isn’t this the most cliched and introspective yet philosophical question of all time?

Who am I?

What makes me unique and why should you read my thoughts and watch me do things?

As a filmmaker, model and social media influencer, I create a brand image of myself and push it out everyday, trying to get people to like and engage with my brand. But honestly, that is just one aspect of me.

I am like a spider with webs interwoven in so many places with other spiders, some close and some far and some affected by the webs that I break and then I get affected by the webs someone else breaks. We are all interwoven into each others webs and as I start unravelling a part of my web, I feel a certain responsibility towards the others who are and have been a part of my web.

The get to know me tag on youtube forces you to look at the web and chart a course that will get show the audience more of your web but still hide the web of the ones who don’t want to be a part of it. Privacy 101?

So, a I sat down to to write 10 facts about me, I became overtly conscious and aware of the fact that I have a responsibility towards the people around me and even when those people have gone from my life, the web has not. I have a responsibility towards my audience and if I promised them more honesty and deeper insight into my life, that is what I will give them and I hope I have done it all the while keeping up the image of my brand and the lightness of tone I exude.

And one of the best things that happened as I filmed this tag was that I suddenly got connected with the old Sam. The decisions I took throughout my short life have shaped me so much that it has made me excited for this adventure called life.

I regret my mistakes, I regret some circumstances but I love every moment and am thankful to the ones who cocoon me in their webs and love me and not try to kick me out of it.

Thank you my fellow spiders and follow me and be a part of my lovely web.

Watch my video here

Life Lessons

How to Motivate Yourself

Motivating yourself can be a hard task but applaud yourself if you are reading this!

You have taken the first step in getting off your ass and actually doing something.

I write this from personal experience and research I have done.

Sharing my story: I am a filmmaker. Now, this might seem like the most glamorous job in the whole wide world, but sadly it is not. I am not from a film lineage, so I do not have a line of producers and directors ready to work with me. I have sit and create scripts, contact as many people as I can and show them my work, I need to be proactive with shoots I get, work on minimum wage and then work somewhere else to pay off rent but all of this makes me want to be a filmmaker even more and enjoy my small successes when I get them. A short film I directed was in the indie festival circuit following which an American media company bought it, I got a project with another American company and another with a British TV series and then there are times when there is a slump and I could sit on my ass and cry and trust me, I have done that.

On a personal level, I lost my grandmothers and am going through a breakup that seems to de-motivate me even more and makes me trust people even less. I left London and am countryless, travelling in the hopes of finding a home.

Then how do I motivate myself to churn out videos for youtube, inspire my fitness community, finish my projects on time and still come up with new projects and keep myself busy and my bank balance rolling?

I read a paper once that said that when we start to think of a work we have to do, there is a 6 minute window after which our brain starts to procrastinate. USE THAT WINDOW or identify when it is happening.

Despite what anyone says, motivation comes from within and from a place inside you where you tell yourself that you love yourself. Why do you want to do what you want to do? To make yourself better? Be it a project deadline, a meeting, calling up someone or plain and simple going to the gym.

Everything and anything we do is for our own benefit. We never do anything for anyone.

Even if it is a good deed or a chore for your family member, you do it because you love them or that it makes YOU feel good.

I device steps to motivate myself in times I am low on something and I find that once the brain starts churning, there is a zap of energy and I am full of ideas, positivity and a wish to do more.

Listen to music that pumps you.

Read articles or books that push you.

Write down your goals.

Look back at where you were and where you are now and start again.

Someone asked me how to be motivated to be a fit person, so here in this video I share ways I motivate myself to go and workout every single day.

HERE IS THE VIDEO

body positivity, fitness, fitness journey, Life Lessons

Girls who Lift: My View

As a girl who is a regular entity at the local gym and the weight lifting section, I feel the lack of women every single day.

Even though it is changing, the people i meet at the free weights section are usually strong, big, buff guys, girls with male partners or bodybuilders. I rarely see girls like me, regular non buff girls at the section. The rare occasion that I do see her, we exchange shy smiles, unknowingly created a bond as the only two anomalies in the system, change in the changing rooms and then disappear in the regular medley of life.

Why is it that girls with muscles are just found in the bodybuilding world or weird fetish world? Even if it is changing, it is so slow that my passion of gym and lifting is not taken as seriously as it should.

I am not applauded for bench pressing 200 pounds or not even praised for my brick abs or broad shoulders.

As a social media influencer, I battle crazy messages on a daily basis, people with weird fetishes asking for my pictures, men sending me unsolicited pictures and random people telling me that I look big or manly.

Do we ever pause and think that lifting might just be good for us?

That some girls like to loft and it is no big anomaly?

I made a video on the 5 reasons girls should lift.

Have a look and tell me what you think.

5 Reasons Girls should lift

 

body positivity, fitness journey, Life Lessons, Uncategorized

I am a FAT GIRL: A Poem

Fatso, giant, big boned, big fat arse

They smiled knowing it was just a farce.

She was not human, was she?

She was just a punchline of a joke.

When I picked a pizza, you saw me and scowled

How dare she eat that, you judged and frowned.

I remember the day i went to the cloth shop

A mother pointed at me, warning her daughter

You don’t want to look like her, she said

They both looked at me, messing with my head.

Fatso, giant, big boned, big fat arse

They smiled knowing it was just a farce.

She was not human, was she?

She was just a punchline of a joke.

I pulled and pulled the biggest jeans over my fat thighs

Wishing I could cut off the flesh with the sharpest knife.

You came to me and said I was fat

You were a friend but what right you had?

You said he will love you for your personality.

Insinuating I wasn’t good enough for him.

I see you today and I want to ask you again.

Did you see me that day, did you feel my pain?

You said my sister was prettier than I

You said I was ugly forcing me to hide my sigh.

I walked on the street and you screamed at me

Oi fatty! You shouted in jest and ran off before I could see.

Fatso, giant, big boned, big fat arse

They smiled knowing it was just a farce.

She was not human, was she?

She was just a punchline of a joke.

You said I was bigger than my mum

Reducing me to just a size of my bum.

You asked me out on a date

It was a dare to make the fat girl wait.

At parties you wanted to laugh at me.

Watching me eat or dressing me up, wasn’t it fun to see?

I went to the gym and dropped the pounds.

You came running after me like hounds.

Suddenly what I said mattered to you.

My face, my brains, my heart were yours to woo.

Do I leave the fat girl behind?

Does she not deserve a chance and a love to find?

Was she not human enough or just a wad of fat.

For you to mock and shame and wander in your tall hat.

The fat girl in me is still within hearing range.

You may not see her, but I see your behaviour change.

I may be half of her but she is whole of me.

She remembers and so do we.

Life Lessons

13 Reasons Why : Why we should watch this show

A TV show that has been in the news for both negative and positive reasons, 13 Reasons Why is a must watch.

The show has been criticised for its almost artistic portrayal of suicide and mental illness and is peppered with warnings showing graphic images of sexual assault and the actual act of suicide.

But the message in the show is so very important that we need to really focus on that. It reaches into the dark corners of your heart and mind, into memories suppressed and forcefully forgotten. With time, many memories are whitewashed into nostalgia for high school and TV and films make high school seem almost romantic. 13 Reasons Why shatters that illusion and forces you to actually introspect about your own school life. What were you when you were a teen? What did you say or do? How did you react and interact with others?

Netflix's_13_Reasons_Why_title_screenOn the surface the show is about how bullying can affect people and how small acts magnify into major reactions. But what I get away from it is the fact that every word you say and every action of yours affects someone in someway.

We are guilty of it. All of us.

I remember once befriending a new girl in high school and during recess ignoring her and chatting with my mates. I shifted from my seat and saw her crying through the window, out in the park. I did not talk to her ever but that image of her, quietly sobbing still haunts me.

And I have been on the other end of the spectrum, hearing someone talk bad about me.

The show is a creative genius, showing both sides of different cliques and people and forces us to stop being judgemental. It is important because we need to learn not be judgemental. Many friendships are broken because we cannot stop and empathise, relationships deteriorate because we are quick to make a judgement and immediately believe anything that is negative.

The show may have garnered rave reviews and criticisms alike but should also been looked at through the mirror of human introspection and make us better human beings, kinder and gentler.

body positivity, fitness, Life Lessons

Are you a body shamer?

body shaming
noun
  1. 1.
    the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about their body shape or size.
    “she is not the only celebrity to speak up about body shaming”
adjective
  1. 1.
    expressing mockery or criticism about a person’s body shape or size.
    “the singer has been dealing not only with heartache but with nasty body-shaming comments”
    body2

The society has conditioned us in such a way that for most of us, body shaming is a natural and normal way of life. So much so that, we don’t realise when we cause it and unintentially perpetuate it.

So, here is a handy list to strike off to see if you are a body shamer.

Have you:

  1. Called someone fat?
  2. Called someone skinny?
  3. Said this particular type of clothing doesn’t look good on them?
  4. Commented on thick thighs?
  5. Commented on skinny arms or any part of their anatomy?
  6. Complimented them on losing weight?
  7. Complimented them on gaining weight?
  8. Asked if they are a on a diet?
  9. Asked if they are sure they want the last pizza slice?
  10. Given free advice on healthy eating?
  11. Said if they only lost/gained the weight they would look so much better?
  12. Said you look amazing for a fat/skinny person?
  13. Said the person they will fall in love with will love them for their personality and not their looks?
  14. Discussed someone’s body and looks with friends?

A person’s look and body and what they wear is a completely personal choice and till the time the said person does not ask for your opinion, giving it results in body shaming and if you ever do that, however well meaning you might be, you only add to the problem.

 

Ciao Adios!body

 

 

fitness, fitness journey, Life Lessons

Lose weight Fast

I have had a lot of people come up to me and ask about weight loss advice, people who crash diet for a week and obsess over the number on the17512_10151684925016928_503718091_n scale.

Please do not!!

First of all look at yourself and ask why you want to lose weight. A checklist:

  1. Did you see a skinny model or an actor you want to look like?
  2. Are people around you saying you are fat?
  3. Do you think you look ugly?

If you answered yes to any of the above, think again. You are beautiful and the problem is that media and society is used to just one type of body and if you do not see your body represented in the media or represented in a negative way that does not mean you are ugly.
The right reasons to lose weight are:

  1. Be fitter and healthier
  2. Achieve a fitness goal
  3. Feel good about yourself.

I would recommend looking up Lena Dunham’s comments on her weight loss. They have been so inspirational.

Lena Dunham on her weight loss

Now for the good part. My Tips and tricks to permanently lose the weight.

I went from 220 pounds to 110 to 120 pounds and cannot be healthier and stronger.

So here goes:

  1. Portion Control: Find out the correct portion size for you. For example, the palm of your hand is the amount of carbs, your fist would be your proteins, your thumb would be fats.
  2. Do not hate carbs: Carbs or carbohydrates are everywhere. Fruits and vegetables also have carbs which gives you energy. You need energy to go through the day!! Be mindful of the types of carbs you eat. A piece of cake is carbs but it has frosting and sugar and oil and fats!! Go for options such as whole wheat bread or pita bread.
  3. Exercise: Find a type of exercise you like and sweat!!! Get your heart beat up and exercise for at least 20-30 mins every day. After a while you will start enjoying your workouts and find ways to do more stuff and stay active.
  4. Consistency: You will have many false starts, start the next monday and all but do not give up!! Keep trying till you reach a point where you workout 3-4 days a week.
  5. Dairy: Some people like me have an issue with dairy as it causes bloating and the there are some moral issues as well. So I shun dairy. Mostly dairy is for the cow’s calf and not for humans. So think twice before drinking a whole glass of milk. It has fats and hormones are injected into it and so much adulteration that really does you a lot of harm.
  6. Home cooked: Prefer home cooked meals to takeaways. Prepare your foods even if it takes time, dedicate a day to food prep and you will notice a change. But if you make pizzas every day or a grilled cheese, you know you are eating mostly fats.
  7. Balanced meal: A balanced meals has all food groups, proteins, carbs and fats. Do that for all meals you eat.
  8. Eat your veggies: Eat at least 5 portions of fresh fruits and veggies. Actively look for seasonal fruits and fill up.
  9. Mindful Snacking: Do not grab a packet of crisps when you are famished. Look for healthy snacks like carrot sticks, humus, whole nuts and any kind of fruits.
  10.  Water: Drink loads of water. Add lemon or cucumbers for some flavour but do aim for a healthy amount of water. Sometimes when you are thirsty, you feel hungry and tend to eat more. Drink water!

landscape-1489590523-weight-loss-snacks

Losing weight is not about the number on the scale. It is about a healthier and happier you.

Life Lessons

Saying Goodbye to Girls

When I first saw Girls, I was on the precipice of a life changing decision and toying with the various possibilities of life. Fresh from a Sex and the City hangover, Girls drew me in for its setting, the city of New York and the story of four girlfriends.

girls 1I would see myself and my best friends in the characters of SATC and it gave me fashion goals and life lessons about things Indians rarely talk about. It empowered me to think about myself as a woman and I leapt into Girls expecting a similar polishing of New York city life and female friendships.
Except it wasn’t.

The first time Lena Dunham took off her clothes on the show, I was half expecting a fat joke or a punchline and then Hannah and Adam proceed to have a very jerky and unromantic sex session. This was the first time sex was shown on screen as it is. Sweaty, noisy and not missionary.

I wasn’t hooked but I kept tabs with the show.

girls 3

And now, 6 seasons later, as the friendships deteriorated on the show and Hannah becomes a mother, I am the same age as the protagonists and I see myself in them.

I do not compare myself to the characters but seeing them trying to chalk out a living in a big city, not having a job, playing with various jobs, juggling friendships and relationships all the while detesting the term millennials and being pop cultured made me feel like I am home.

While there are people my age who have jobs and savings and are buying houses and cars, I am still looking at random gigs, working in films and being active on social media.

Girls made me feel like I am not alone and Lena Dunham’s writing and the selfish characters in the show gave me a fresh perspective on life and feminism.

I learnt to define myself, tackle my body image issues and create a feminist ideology for myself.

Lena Dunham did not stick to an arc for her story but chose issue ranging from best friend’s betrayal to early marriage and divorce, writing and quitting jobs, parent’s divorce and it was all so real and not toned down.

I am glad shows like Girls gave way to more shows and opened up topics of conversations that were taboo.