Thursday, November 21, 2013

The MIL / DIL health challenge

The biggest goal for me coming out of my recovery is getting my heath back on track. There's nothing like staying in the hospital among all those sick people...to make you wanna get back in to shape! After my discharge, the only thing I was thinking was, I hope to God I never come back... so my health was my absolute top priority. But then I was put on bed rest for a month, AND my MIL came...

For those of you who don't know, my MIL and I have one huge thing in common - we are both total foodies! It's like a domino effect....if I see her eating something, I get hungry and have to have a bite too...and vice versa! Husband-ji was so happy that his mum came, so he made sure to get her all her favorite snacks. Every single time he went to the grocery store (which is every day...LOL) he would get more snacks. So basically, MIL and I were sitting on the couch together for a month watching horror films and eating a shitload of jalapeno cheese puffs, nacho's, ice cream....on top of all her delicious cooking! It was like a non-stop unhealthy snack-a-thon! We were total piglets!

But surely enough, after a month of indulging ourselves and us getting totally fat, MIL's health issues started to flare up again. I wondered...are we a bad influence on each other? Then I realized, if we can be a bad influence on each other....then we can be a good influence on each other too. We had to make some healthy changes in our Madh-house!

(MIL / DIL addiction!)
(Img via)

Since then, we've instructed husband-ji NOT to get our beloved jalapeno cheese puffs....and instead get us fruit. Every morning I make us a delicious fruit smoothie. We also dusted off the elliptical machine and have both been doing intense workouts on it, as well as walks outside with Maya in the stroller. It's crazy that a workout actually gives you more energy. And every afternoon I make us a killer salad packed with mixed greens, bell pepper, cucumber, avocado, chickpeas, roasted beets, shredded carrots, slivered almonds and goat cheese. 

As many of my Indian readers know, salads in India consist of a raw onion with lemon juice and salt and pepper on it. It is hard to get a conservative Telugu lady to eat a Western-style salad - it probably looks like rabbit food to her! But I finally got MIL to try my salad and she absolutely loved it - and she was amazed that she felt full after (mostly amazed that she can be full with something other than rice!) Of course, the only way I could get her to eat it was to guilt-trip her ("aunty I eat all your food all day! Just try one bite!") and then she ate the whole thing....score! And then, of course, she went in to her whole rant about "what will others think".....I don't think she'd ever imagined that she'd one day be sitting in Canada with her firangi bahu, eating salad every day and working out on an elliptical machine! She seems really happy though, I would actually say this is the happiest I have ever seen her!

(My killer mid-afternoon salad)

And then I wondered, besides "enjoying life too much", is taking care of your health (as a woman) a Western concept? After all, the woman's needs are always last on the priority list in a conservative Indian household (after inlaws, children, husband, houusehold). Or maybe MIL is having an identity crisis of sorts - by trying all of these different ways, does she think that makes her less of an Indian? Or does it just make her a different kind of Indian? And what constitutes being an Indian? Somebody that only does Indians-only things? Why is the mere concept of being different so scary and bad? Or doing something that's purely for yourself and your well-being?

Anyways, I'm so glad to be back in mind, body and spirit....and so happy that I have my dear companion, MIL (BFFs forever!) - to join me on our healthy living quest! With all these changes - getting more sleep, eating healthier, exercising....it really makes a difference! And MIL's health issue is totally better since we started doing it - in mere days it improved.

(Img via)

My main goal for changing my lifestyle is just to be healthy, and to never be in the hospital again. Instead of purchasing material things, I'm going to purchase a yoga class, or a chiropractic session, or a massage. I'm going to invest in my health for the long run - because that's what really matters. AND also, in the back of my mind, I'd like to get rid of my postpartum anemia once and for all, and get a bit fitter before we have our next child (still a few years away). And of course, if I lose any weight that's the icing on the cake!

As I start out on this healthy lifestyle journey, I wonder what else will change...? Will being more healthy effect my attitude as well? Will it make me more focused? It will be interesting to see...it's all connected, after all...

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What do you think, dear readers? What do you guys do to invest in your health? How do you incorporate healthy living into your daily life?

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8 comments

  1. Great idea to have your MIL do it with you! I am so worried about my health (and my family's) these days. I am starting to train for 5K now. I find it extremely tough to find the motivation..LOL, especially in winter!! hopefully i get to run since that's been a dream for me!

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    1. Yes, as MIL says "health is wealth"! (so true!)
      I'm glad she is doing it with me too, I think we are motivating each other. It is really hard to not feel tired with the gloomy winter weather, but just remember, the hardest part is getting the running shoes on!

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  2. Gudmrg Alexandra... good to know that after resting a month long with your MIL, you both are working out to shed off those extra grams :P

    All the best :) :)

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    1. Thanks! Yes, hopefully we can be feeling really healthy before Christmas time (non stop holiday eat-a-thon) LOL!

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  3. I loved this post. DIL and MIL snacking together while watching horror movies and then going on a health trip together. It made me miss my MIL whom we lost in March this year.
    What I found interesting was your question whether it's a western concept to take care of oneself
    . I think it most definitely is. It's an advanced concept that comes with education and a belief in women's rights. Indian women are traditionally raised to put everyone else's needs first. There's hardly time for a workout in most women's lives. Although nowadays some women, in urban areas will accompany their husbands on a walk because it's good for his health.
    There is of course a small section of the population that signs up for yoga classes or goes to the gym ( by themselves :0) but they're too few to mention.
    Stay well. Glad you're back from hospital.

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    1. Thanks so much!
      So sorry to hear about your MIL, our condolences to you. I can't imagine...
      Yes, I don't think she has ever thought to take care of herself first ...since there are just too many people she thinks she needs to take care of first. I'm very independent so I encourage her to do her own thing first, and am very sensitive to her needs. She says she doesn't want to become lazy, but I just keep telling her she needs to relax more. She has loosened up A LOT...
      So interesting that "some women, in urban areas will accompany their husbands on a walk because it's good for his health." --> MIL and I were chatting the other day and she said that it is a big blessing to the family if the MIL dies first (before the FIL) and I was just baffled. It's like they are killing themselves willingly by not making their health a priority!
      Last time I took MIL to yoga and she loved it but this time she is being shy. I'm going to try to see if I can persuade her. ;)

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  4. o poor dear..two foodies gelled well together..Nice health tips ..Great post.Absolutely loved it

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes - total foodies turned exercise junkies! LOL

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