Women and Health!

Women and Health!

I just finished reading Rujuta Diwekar’s “Women and the weight-loss tamasha,” and I loved it! I read a lot about fitness and health as a matter of interest, and don’t be alarmed, I am not trying to lose weight :). My weight is just fine along with the rest of me :). But, the way she analyzes the life of an Indian woman in a humorous way yet making serious points is worth reading. I would suggest that every woman read this and her first book. It will help clear a lot of cobwebs of misconceptions and myths that are floating around. Every person and their daughter-in-law writes newspaper and magazine columns about health without having any credentials to do so. And, naive folks just fall for it. One day egg is good; another day it is bad. Carbs are bad; coconut oil is bad; ghee is bad, no it is good and so on. The saddest part is that as a culture, we are blessed with wonderful, healthy cuisines, wholesome carbs, a tradition of healthy home-cooked fresh food, and we are throwing it away following mindless Western diets that someone recommended without actually understanding the serious complications they can have on our health in the long term.
Have you seen what an obsession weight loss has become around us? Whenever a bunch of ladies meet, always the talk is about who has gained weight, who is slogging and dieting like crazy to lose weight, new moms lamenting their “increased” weight, moms with kids remembering with fondness the days when they were slimmer all the while tucking in the fare available and feeling guilty about it. Have you noticed how no one talks of stamina and strength to deal with our hectic schedules or health and fitness to be able to play with their kids. It is just a mindless obsession with weight or becoming thin, so that the aunties can wear hep clothes they see models or actresses wearing.
Health and fitness don’t happen overnight. My mother suffered from osteoporosis and had two fractures just by slipping and falling in the bathroom when she was in her 40s. She had tough issues with recuperation, joint trouble etc. later on. When in my teens, I was underweight, scrawny and very poor at sports. As you are aware, it is no big deal if girls are not much active in the sports field. But, I really did work at playing games like badminton and TT in college. I regularly work out, read about nutrition, plan and cook the meals for my family no matter how busy I am. I never miss my brisk walk and throw in occasional yoga and strength training. Suffice it to say, that in my mid-30s and after two kids, I am fitter and have more stamina than when I was in my teens or in my 20s :). And, no crazy diets for me, I eat well thank you! So, ladies out there, take care of your health. You are important too. Don’t put your needs way behind those of your husbands, in-laws, kids. Remember that if you are healthy, your family will be healthy too, and it will hold you in good stead when you are older!
Really, girls go out and read these books. Positive living is healthy living. It is worth investing in that.
Facebook Comments

60 thoughts on “Women and Health!

  1. now that is one hecka post I have read with interest, and will definitely make it a point to share it on my FB wall. Am sure the girlies therein my pal list will evince keen interest too and will appreciate the same. Keep up the good work. Am happily following 🙂

  2. now that is one hecka post I have read with interest, and will definitely make it a point to share it on my FB wall. Am sure the girlies therein my pal list will evince keen interest too and will appreciate the same. Keep up the good work. Am happily following 🙂

  3. yes Rachna, Rujuta’s books (both) r keepers. i giv away most of my books once i m thoroughly done with them. But hers r 2 books i m not goin to part with. she really understands nutrition well N also d pressures of an indian woman. its commendable dat u fit in exercise/yoga/strength training/walking etc etc into ur life. staying fit = staying happy 🙂

  4. Obesity is becoming the number one problem the world over.Along with it,the associated health problems too. Most of the illnesses we see are related to life style problems.It is difficult to lose weight,once it passes a limit.Youngsters should be targeted to make a healthy life style.No crash diet will help.Something practical and possible for long term is the solution.

  5. very true to every word..But I wud say keep a check on your weight and size..Indian is good has lot of veggies in it BUT high carb …so I wud jus say keep healthy and not to be obsessed with crash diets (thou I do that)lolzI have have been same from the day I got married even after two kids …you know why?my hubby says”high maintenance Diva”lolzI am obsessed by fitness …I truly agree what you said and should not be pissed off ..maintenance is MUST to keep you alive and get compliments its self motivation!

  6. @Basil Thank you so much. I hope girls and women everywhere become more sensible about their own health.@Sujatha So glad that you’ve read them both and love them. And, I don’t part with any books of mine. I have the habit of rereading them :). Thank you and it is really wonderful how she understands and explains so beautifully what Indian women face and how they should cope.@Dr. antony absolutely right! as parents, we are the first ones to set an example to our kids by cooking and eating healthy and explaining to them the importance of exercise and good food. That is what most people don’t understand that health and fitness are related to lifestyle and they are a lifelong commitment not some fad.

  7. @NRIGirl Health is something you don’t realize the value of till you lose it.@Harman Your weight and size will stay in check if your lifestyle choices are correct. It is like do what you are best at and success and money will follow. Similarly, eat correctly at right times, exercise, sleep well and a good figure and good health will follow on their own. Commendable that you are taking good care of your health and fitness. We need more women to do that. And, Indian carbs are not harmful because they are wholesome and complex carbs. We need to stay away from empty calories like maida.

  8. Nice post.I feel that having the right weight is all about our life style.As you have mentioned we must be more focused on better stamina and being energized. Personally i am a regular runner and run half marathons.So in every three -four months there is an event coming up,it keeps me fit and away from a sedentary life style.

  9. Hi Rachnaji, so long since we haven’t ‘seen’ in blog world. This is a really cool article, I read here. I do not think many of my friends are aware of health issues such as obesity. I will recommend your article… Keep this good work going.

  10. @abhinav Welcome to my blog!Wow, you are running marathons. That’s really amazing! Keep up the good work.@Anulal Yes, long time! Thank you for the visit and the warm words.

  11. Indian food is the best food as far as a healthy diet is concerned. We are fat because we indulge in too many junk and fast foods. Our own simple Dhal, roti, chaval sabji, dahi and salad is the best way to maintain a good health. One must not forget water, drinking lots of water itself will help us remain fit and slim.Of course, we are much slimmer and healthier than most people we get to see in the west, at least here we get to see people a little in between, whereas there we can only see very obese and unhealthy people, or very slim and fit and healthy people.One must not go by the various research, that keeps changing every other day. If we keep everything in moderation, we can always be fit and healthy, without beating ourselves to death trying to be a Ashwariya,or a Kareena.

  12. @rama Yes, Indian food is much better but overeating is a problem even in Indian food. One bad quality is that some people really use loads of oil in their cooking in the mistaken belief that food will then taste good. You are right, following fads or chasing “that” figure or look is the biggest problem. Most Indian women are always dissatisfied with something or the other. And, if someone is obese, please seek a professional nutritionist and not the horrible lose 5 Kgs. in 10 days programs. They are a piece of crap.@Harman You’re welcome. It is an inspiration to see women invest in their health and fitness just like you do :).

  13. Rachna: Next time I’m in a book stall will get hold onto this Rujuta’s book. I vaguely remember having seen it in one of the aisles in the book store. I kind of know what you are talking about in terms of stamina and fitness – I cant keep myself away from my morning aerobics session for 2 weeks because that makes me feel heavy. I am not into weight reduction routines. Just keeping healthy is my motto. Nice post dear. Some caution to ladies who skip a lot of meals for the sake of trimming down shedding a few pounds and losing a few inches. Please dont starve!

  14. Rachna: Next time I’m in a book stall will get hold onto this Rujuta’s book. I vaguely remember having seen it in one of the aisles in the book store. I kind of know what you are talking about in terms of stamina and fitness – I cant keep myself away from my morning aerobics session for 2 weeks because that makes me feel heavy. I am not into weight reduction routines. Just keeping healthy is my motto. Nice post dear. Some caution to ladies who skip a lot of meals for the sake of trimming down shedding a few pounds and losing a few inches. Please dont starve!

  15. Rachna: Next time I’m in a book stall will get hold onto this Rujuta’s book. I vaguely remember having seen it in one of the aisles in the book store. I kind of know what you are talking about in terms of stamina and fitness – I cant keep myself away from my morning aerobics session for 2 weeks because that makes me feel heavy. I am not into weight reduction routines. Just keeping healthy is my motto. Nice post dear. Some caution to ladies who skip a lot of meals for the sake of trimming down shedding a few pounds and losing a few inches. Please dont starve!

  16. Rachna: Next time I’m in a book stall will get hold onto this Rujuta’s book. I vaguely remember having seen it in one of the aisles in the book store. I kind of know what you are talking about in terms of stamina and fitness – I cant keep myself away from my morning aerobics session for 2 weeks because that makes me feel heavy. I am not into weight reduction routines. Just keeping healthy is my motto. Nice post dear. Some caution to ladies who skip a lot of meals for the sake of trimming down shedding a few pounds and losing a few inches. Please dont starve!

  17. Rachna: Next time I’m in a book stall will get hold onto this Rujuta’s book. I vaguely remember having seen it in one of the aisles in the book store. I kind of know what you are talking about in terms of stamina and fitness – I cant keep myself away from my morning aerobics session for 2 weeks because that makes me feel heavy. I am not into weight reduction routines. Just keeping healthy is my motto. Nice post dear. Some caution to ladies who skip a lot of meals for the sake of trimming down shedding a few pounds and losing a few inches. Please dont starve!

  18. Rachna: Next time I’m in a book stall will get hold onto this Rujuta’s book. I vaguely remember having seen it in one of the aisles in the book store. I kind of know what you are talking about in terms of stamina and fitness – I cant keep myself away from my morning aerobics session for 2 weeks because that makes me feel heavy. I am not into weight reduction routines. Just keeping healthy is my motto. Nice post dear. Some caution to ladies who skip a lot of meals for the sake of trimming down shedding a few pounds and losing a few inches. Please dont starve!

  19. Rachna: Next time I’m in a book stall will get hold onto this Rujuta’s book. I vaguely remember having seen it in one of the aisles in the book store. I kind of know what you are talking about in terms of stamina and fitness – I cant keep myself away from my morning aerobics session for 2 weeks because that makes me feel heavy. I am not into weight reduction routines. Just keeping healthy is my motto. Nice post dear. Some caution to ladies who skip a lot of meals for the sake of trimming down shedding a few pounds and losing a few inches. Please dont starve!

  20. Rachna: Next time I’m in a book stall will get hold onto this Rujuta’s book. I vaguely remember having seen it in one of the aisles in the book store. I kind of know what you are talking about in terms of stamina and fitness – I cant keep myself away from my morning aerobics session for 2 weeks because that makes me feel heavy. I am not into weight reduction routines. Just keeping healthy is my motto. Nice post dear. Some caution to ladies who skip a lot of meals for the sake of trimming down shedding a few pounds and losing a few inches. Please dont starve!

  21. @Ashwini exactly how I feel when I don’t walk even for a couple of days. It is just a matter of routine, one actually misses it! And, you are doing good. So nice to hear that women are oriented towards health and not weight loss only.Exactly, as you pointed out, don’t punish your body, it really does a lot for you and the least it deserves is to be fed well.

  22. That was a good post! A book review and your opinion..Skipping meals is Die-t! Healthy food and enough activities should serve the purpose.I will get my hands on this book soon.

  23. that was really a useful post…undoubtedly if you are healthy your family will be healthy, but most of the ppl go for short cut n start crash dieting resulting health problems in the long run.irfan

  24. I feel that being healthy is more important than just being thin..But here…Don’t put your needs way behind those of your husbands, in-laws, kids..now a days woman like these are rare, and inlaws nevr count for anyone, leave aside forgetting your needs for them….these traits went out with our generation..today I see most of the girls very self centred.

  25. Indian cuisine(with some modification) is balanced , healthy and also tasty. Great that you walk everyday as i consider it one of the best and most effective fitness regime .Thanks for the suggested book ,i will surely look for it next time i am in a book store.

  26. @Alka Thank you! I think you will like the book.@Irfan yes, most of us are blinded by short-term goals which lead us into taking measures that can do a lot of harm in the long term.@Renu Yes, being healthy is better than being thin. And, if you are living healthy, no chance in hell that you will be fat. About women putting their needs behind everyone else’s, I can sense your cynicism. But, look at any girl who lives with her in laws. How many girls are cooking and eating in a style that they like? Aren’t all of them eating how food is cooked in their home and according to hubby’s wishes? Aren’t all of us not eating certain things if hubby or in laws don’t eat them? Come on things don’t change that much. And eating when you are hungry and what you like does not make you self-centered. In my opinion, it makes you human.

  27. @Kavita Thanks. Yes, a few modifications like less ghee and oil during cooking etc. is needed, but essentially ours is a healthy cuisine.@Tomz Thanks! Yes, determination goes a long way,and the right approach is crucial. Thanks, that picture is courtesy another person whom I have credited in the post.

  28. sorry sorry sorry i am so late .. weight loss has become a obsession, I can tell you that , I gave up eating and regular exercise yet no gain .. I am still fat.. but now i have given up and try not to let it bug me a lot .. staying fit is staying happy for sure and even if i think i have to lose some , I am happy cause thats how i like .. I keep myself fit now with a lot of things i do hockey-running-hiking etc etc plus at my job i got ot do a lot and lot of walking .. so weight loss is no more a obsession .. take care 🙂 I feel smiling helps a lot tooo .. he heh edoesn’t it .. Bikram’s

  29. “When in my teens, I was underweight, scrawny and very poor at sports.” You just described me there Rachna, people battle with loosing weight, got me it’s the opposite I try to gain weight however I don’t over do it as i know when the time comes I will gain weight. I will most defiantly look for those books if they are available here I will get them.

  30. @Bikram Well, you didn’t lose weight because you stopped eating. If you were eating right and well and exercising, then you would have lost weight. But doing so many activities is really good. Only the bottle and the butter chicken has to be moderated :). Oh yeah, smiling helps sure :).@Emmy thank you. I had such trouble gaining weight when younger, and I thank my genes for letting me stay slimmer even now :).

  31. rachana you have actually written what my heart felt after reading Rujuta’s books. i really loved her style of writing. it pinches the right way of making tamasha of weight loss. thanks for everything in my life that even i am much fit after having a baby and didnt need to go on diets.yes it’s true there should be more awarness on being fit than slim n unhealthy. also one point i would like to mention here from all the discussion above is women avoid eating sweet,fried things etc. on the name of dieting but crave on them so much one fine day and that becomes more harmful.i would suggest eat everything you wish but in small portions so the body can absorb it.anyway keep it up.

  32. @Ashwini Thank you dear!@shruti Welcome to my space! Thanks a lot for the kind words.Very true about the portion and cravings. I like what Rujuta says about diet — Diet means eating. That is how people must change their focus to nourishing and sustaining their bodies from depriving and punishing them.

  33. yes you are right, it doesnt make you self centred, but always looking after yourself only makes you.I see all around me, new entrants in the family doing nothing for the family, always demanding and expecting everything….what you are talking about..i see now.where now:(

  34. @Renu Perhaps you talk from your experiences. But to say that all women today are bad or self centered is unfair. In every age group, there will be some people belonging to both types. My statement was a general one, and my post was in encouraging women to look after their health too. They did not need to think that their health need not matter or that they should keep skipping breakfast or meals because of lack of time from attending to their duties.

  35. Rachna, I really enjoyed this post. Indian food is best for our genes and metabolism. I too read Rujuta’s book on Weight loss tamasha. Besides the humor, whatever she has stated makes utter sense. I mean, women have become so obsessed about losing weight and comparing themselves to super models and eating exotic fruits and spending on expensive olive oil, totally neglecting whatever’s best. This obsession is of no use except to lose one’s mind to pieces, fretting over what the weighing scale will predict.

  36. @Swapna What you wrote is exactly my thoughts. Why are women losing their minds worrying about every morsel that goes into their mouths? Why are men so comfortable with drinking, eating like pigs and yet never worrying about where that weight will go. We need to chill out a bit, think sensibly instead of doing drastic things which don’t work in the long run and end up leaving us even more depressed. You, so rightly pointed out that we run after exotic olive oil when we have nourishing peanut oil and mustard oil right here. Cooking in any oil will be bad if tonnes of oil is used for everything. The book reiterates so much of my common sense thinking and really makes so much sense! I recommend that everyone reads them including men :).

  37. hi rachna ,i culd find my story in that each & everytime worried abt weight issue,but no use as sometimes i religously do yoga then i leave it again then again wt comes back carrying dull skin depression ,comments from ur friends and the killing effects from inside .i ve read that book , again to gain motivation i ll read it .thank u for such a lovely blog

  38. @mama Thank you for visiting my blog and for your heartfelt words. I know how you feel, and it is so sad. I’ve seen so many of my friends oscillate between this hope and depression cycle. In my opinion, contact a qualified nutritionist not one of those lose 10 kgs in 20days plan. Have a realistic approach to losing weight through a healthy lifestyle. It will take you longer and you might not look like those skinny models. But, you will do your body and mind some good and feel better too. Use the book as a reference to understand the mistakes you might be making.

  39. I have read her books, and felt a lot better after reading them. And the funniest part was, she has mentioned all those things, which my mom and nani always told me from ages. Ghee is good, eat your staple diet. If you were eating rice, dont just give up on it. eat small quantities, drink water and most importantly as you have mentioned, all indian food.And yes, people going after being thin, really its all about fitness. I am for swimming and I absolutely love it. and yes I eat everything.

  40. Rachna, quite a succinct review of the book. Inputs from your personal regime also added to the fulsomeness of this review. I have always been a pleasantly plump person right from my birth. I guess my body type is so. I love walking and yoga but have never been consistent and it goes without saying that I appreciate and admire your consistency. I should try reading this book sometime.Joy always,Susan

    1. Thanks Susan! I really must say that Rujuta has brought a new awareness to eating right and eating well for today’s generation of girls. The books are really worth reading because they have amazing common sense wisdom and unlock secrets about our bodies and our food. Thank you so much for your warm words. I just love my brisk walks. Can’t live without them :).

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: