Friday, 30 November 2012



A few days back, we watched in our home theatre, a beautiful, heartrending french film 'The Kid with a Bike' (Le Gamin au vĂ©lo). It won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival 2011. It is French drama film written,  and directed by the Beligian brothers, Jean Pierre and  Luc Dardenne. Young Thomas Doret immaculately and amazingly dons the role of Cyril, a 12 year old boy who is desperately in search of his father who abandoned him after leaving him in a farmland foster care. A kind hearted hairdresser (Cecile de France) enters his life and takes care of him during the weekends. Cyril is troubled and unpredictable. He has behavior issues and finds it difficult to express his emotions, due to the deep pain of rejection and abandonment he suffers. The hairdresser helps the boy locate his father but all his hopes are crushed when his father makes a confession. Cyril's  natural desire for a father figure lands him to trouble thats teaches him certain facts about life at a young age. All along the hairdresser never gives up on him and sticks by him, even during the most trying and toughest times she experiences with Cyril. The movie is a master piece work with the directors having touched realities of a child's emotions and sufferings, fighting to survive under cruel circumstances, and his deep need  for parental love, acceptance and support. 

No words will suffice to explain how beautifully this movie was crafted and the entire cast has put in great perfomances. It's a movie worth watching (with subtitles). There are so many profound messages and lessons the movie expresses without articulating them in words....

 Director Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Thomas Doret, Cecile de France and director Luc Dardenne at the Premier, Cannes Film Festival 2011



If you are on a weight loss regime and find it difficult to stick to a calorie controlled meal plan or regular exercise, it can be frustrating, disheartening and bit of a mind war. And you end up looking at the thin friends or people around you and secretly wish you could be like them and seal your fate by thinking, you can never do it. And you continue to carry the burden of your weight, and you and only you know how tired you are it. Everyone who has been on a weight reduction plan, has experienced this. There could a be a lot of reasons for this. Let's explore some of them and what reinforcing and positive action plan you can take

* You cook for your family and you are tempted to eat what you cook for them
Action - Start small by making minor or small changes. Eat whatever you cook for them but in less amount using a small plate. Avoid the fried items and sugary stuff. Slowly introduce more of salads, fruits, and grilled lean meat, chicken into your diet and eat less of what you cook for your family. Slowly give up junk food and all those hight calorie sweets by realizing they really do you no good except harm. Within one or two months, women can go on a 1200 calorie diet, gradually moving to a 1000 calorie diet. Men can go on a 1500 calorie diet and move on to 1300 calorie diet. Use less oil while cooking. During this process prepare healthy meals for your family. Get them into a healthy eating plan.

* You hold a party or attend a party and you are tempted to eat all that you prepared or offered
Action - Temptation can be overcome by two important actions - understanding and self restraint. You can restrain from eating whats fattening by understanding what food groups will help you lose weight and what food groups will increase your weight. What do you choose? You dont want to sabotage your diet by consuming foods that's not necessary for your body right? Go for the salads or any foods that have lesser calories in them during a party. Don't fill your plate. Eat in managed amounts. Don't go for a second helping. Enjoy the interaction and companionship of your friends rather than stuff yourself with food.

* At a buffet
Action - If its just you and your immediately family, you can opt for an a la carte menu rather than a buffet so you reduce your temptation and inclination to overeat. If you are invited to a buffet by relatives or friends, its natural you can't refuse the invitation just because you are trying to lose weight. There will be a variety of tantalizing food which you'd be eager to try. Look for low calorie foods in the buffet, avoid the fried and sugary items. Go for the soup or have lots of salad with least dressing. That should fill you up. Take your own time to finish the soup or salad, so you feel full already. Wait for a while and go for a small main meal comprising of one of two items, whatever is least in calories. By all means, skip the dessert - don't even look at it! Enjoy the company of your family or friends giving the least improtance to food.

* When you are offered juice, cakes, pastries, savouries, cookies at the office or friends' places
Action - If its fresh juice without added sugar, you can go for it. Say no to everything else, even if its home made. You are not going to offend anyone. Tell them you are avoiding all this as a part of your healthy eating plan and change in lifestyle. Avoid artificial juices. Be polite and firm while declining. Don't subject yourself to pleasing them by eating what your body does not require.

* You are surrounded by kids or siblings or family who munch on snacks or eat chocolates and you get tempted
Action - Leave that room. Say no if you are offered these snacks that have lots of calories. Slowly talk them into eating less of those which are not good for them either.

* You dislike exercising
Action - The truth is a lot of people dislike exercising. The bigger truth is we are not built to be sedentary. As humans we are not supposed to be sitting in one place for a long time. We can't help it if we have a 8 to 5 job that requires a lot of sedentary work. Then come home and sit in front of computer t.v. makes it worse. Exercise makes the body release good hormones that makes us feel good, reduces stress, creates more clarity of thought, helps burn calories and keeps us fit. A lethargic life is not what we are meant for. Start slow, start small. Exercise for 10 minutes, gradually increasing it to half hour in two weeks. After a month or two, try to exercise for an hour, for 3 to 5 times a week.

* You feel you can never reach your target weight
Action - Remember, it took you a long time, perhaps years to gain all the extra weight. Losing all that will take time. Its important to be patient and not worry about 'when' you would reach your goal weight. Concentrate on each day. What you do each day is more important. Be true to yourself. When you follow a low calorie diet the entire week, it can get boring. So allow yourself a cheat meal once a week. A piece of chocolate, a tiny burger, or a scoop of icecream or a tiny piece of cake. The important thing is not to go overboard by  overeating or overindulging during a cheat day. You have the power within you to eat in moderate amounts what you desire staying within the 1000 to 1200 calorie range. Read as many weight loss success stories as possible. It will make you realize, how so many overweight and obese people managed to lose weight within 6 months to one year. It does not matter if its take even more than a year. What counts is you don't give up and strive to carry on.

* Stress eating
Action - Sometimes we feel like eating when we are worried, sad or stressed. All the fats and sweets give us a temporary sense of comfort. But at the end, you'd be feeling worse for having indulged. All this perhaps in utter secrecy - the pain of which is only known to you and no one else. No amount of overeating or indulging has solved any problems or issues. So whatever action you need to take or need not take regarding the problems or issues, please don't go to seek comfort in food. No one has felt any better for long after doing so.

* Hard to lose weight because you eat out or at the canteen/cafeteria during lunch
Action - Take a little trouble. Prepare low calorie food for yourself the previous night and carry your lunch to office. Or choose foods that have least calories from the restaurant menu or cafeteria. The former is the best option so there is no room for excuse.

* When you look at thin people, you feel you can never be like them
Action - Everyone is unique and so are you. Your features, looks, body shape, even weight is determined by your genetic makeup. You certainly don't share your friend's genetic make up. You dont have to be like anyone and you cannot look like anyone else, well except by mere coincidence. You might have a pear or apple shaped figure, while a friend might have an hour glass figure. You can exercise those areas that require extra toning. When you lose overall weight, you are going to look fanstastic.  Losing weight is for your own good, for your health, so you don't lose out on life or become ill due to excess weight. Your sincere everyday efforts and patience will pay off. You will lose weight and the thin person hidden inside of you will come out. It shouldn't matter if you are an hour glass, apple or pear shaped (which you are genetically predisposed to). What truly matters is a healty weight and healthy lifestyle free of disease. Be happy with the person you are. With every little effort and ceaseless determination to lose weight, you will be a witness to  fabulous results each month.