A few years ago, I was introduced P90x and it made a huge impact on my life. Over the next few years, I found myself gradually getting more occupied with other things and fitness took a back seat. I tried to keep up with some workout videos but felt myself losing motivation, often giving up within a week. Sticking to a workout regime felt like a struggle and it was a stark difference from the time that I had originally started working out.
In January, while preparing for a family trip my dad jokingly said “I don’t want to take a fat guy back to India” and as such I didn’t have much of a choice. But, I was determined to show what I could do and I knew what I had to do. Here is my journey for the past few months on how I went about doing it and perhaps inspire a few people in the process.
First of all, I didn’t do the entire P90x program, since I had already done it before. Instead, I decided to work out 3 to 5 times per week. Then something beautiful happened, within only a couple of weeks, I started noticing a huge difference in my body. What I didn’t realize was that when I did P90x for the first time, I created a really good physique that never quite went away. So while toning back down, I saw progress that I would typically not have seen until a month or two later. Within a month, I looked like this. After a few weeks of 3 to 5 workout sessions per week, I did something that had been my dream for a long time.
I had always wanted to do martial arts before I graduated from University. By a chance encounter, I was in the Student life center while registrations were being taken in for a Muay Thai club. I didn’t think twice and it was probably one of the best decisions I made this term. Before joining Muay Thai at Waterloo, I was terrified of getting into a physical fight. I always tried my best to stay away from even verbal confrontations. The reason was simple; I was afraid. The more I went to Muay Thai lessons, the less afraid I became. I believe that almost getting hit on your face or leg or chest somehow builds up this confidence in you. I am a lot less afraid now. Of course, I will always try to settle things by talking, but now I know how to defend myself a bit better if the need arises. In addition to P90x and Muay Thai, I played squash at least once per week and this was probably the most fun way to lose calories this term. To summarize, every week involved 3-5 P90x workout sessions, one 1.5 hr. session of Muay Thai and one 1 hr. session of squash. I continued this for all 13 weeks of this term.
Stuff I used
My entire P90x workout was done in my basement. I stuck to the same routine I did for the first time. I used resistance bands and detergent liquid as substitutes for weights. I used chairs for push-ups and hung from the wooden I-beam in the ceiling for pull-ups.
For Muay Thai, I purchased a pink color (that’s right!) hand wraps
and used gloves, along with pads and a punching bag from the dojo. For Squash, I used a 30$ worn out racket that I purchased 3 years ago.
I made sure to drink 1 glass of milk after every workout and tried to limit the consumption of restaurant or retail food to a minimum of 2 to 4 times per week. I tried following a Keto diet( low carbs and high fat) for a couple days and immediately decided it wasn’t for me as my main food consumption was what was made at home (which usually involved roti, rice and bread – three big NO’s for Keto). So I decided to stick with whatever was made at home and simply watch the quantity of food I was eating. I drank lots and lots of water, which really helped keep my appetite in check. What I found tremendously useful was my calorie-tracking app MyFitnessPal. I used it religiously to track all my food intake and exercise. They have quite an extensive database for their food and even options for Indian dishes. This ended up being a huge motivator whenever I got off track. I basically set a net calorie intake of 1400 which, as I realized much later, was really low. However, at the time I didn’t feel sick or weak at any point so I stuck to it. Food is one area I definitely need to keep working on.
I am going to be travelling to India and certain parts of South Asia and it’s going to be really hard to keep up my routine. Nevertheless I am going to do my best to keep eating healthy, drink tons of water and try getting in a workout at least couple times per week. I absolutely want to join a Martial Arts club and maybe even a hip hop dance club after I come back.
The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Starting out is the hardest part, so your objective should be to simply show up again and again. No matter what! You got this!