A tragedy called ‘the college diet’.

My buddy at work is sick. He has something that I will not mention, but it is because of his terrible diet, complete lack of physical activities and him thinking that he is an invincible 24 year old. I have already given him earfuls about how he is ruining his health by giving him my own examples from my early days in USA.

Continuing with the nostalgia from my SDSU days, I had a trip laughing my glutes off about some of the weird habits I had developed in year 1. Obviously, I was away from home, and had to make all my decisions myself, that included lifestyle choices. Add to that the facts that I was supremely lazy, loved sleeping, and was practically jobless, broke, and had classes on alternate evenings at night. Things were okay in Lonavala, because the college mess/cafeteria was really good and provided healthy food. I had developed a very weird day cycle for myself. I would sleep at 3-4 am and wake up by 1-2 pm everyday. This continued for a while till I got a Grader position finally. I bucked up and started going to school at 10 am even if I had nothing to do there. I would simply sit in the library and work on my assignments or watch shows when I had nothing to do. There was this nice secluded booth that I preferred, where I could eat my lunch in peace.

Speaking of my lunch, it usually looked like cat food. I barely got a month to learn cooking before I moved away from home and my food of choice was Khichdi(rice-lentil stew). I would make as much as my pressure cooker would allow and put it in tupperwares and refrigerate it. Anyone who makes khichdi, knows that it is disgusting even after an hour, so please use your imagination to think what 2 day old khichdi could be like. Or dont.

I had totally failed to learn how to make roti/paratha(indian bread like tortilla) while at home, and I was left to my own devices. I had tried tortillas from the store and ready-to-make roti, but something about the preservative smell really grossed me out. It is not an easy task when making the dough, rolling it and cooking it is involved. So I would make around 10 paratha at once that would be enough for 3 meals, and freeze them. That had to be the worst idea ever because they would get insanely hard and crispy flatbread like when reheated. Abhi used to laugh at my parathas and still remembers the crumbly mess I would make while eating them. I gave up pretty soon, and switched to bread instead.

I was eating in the worst possible ways. I would eat milk poha for dinner(Abhi remembers that as well and never fails to make fun of me for that, rightly so). I would skip lunches and eat a giant meal of rice with a variation of lentil-potato curry made by whichever roommate’s turn that night was. I had forgotten about the concept of breakfast. I would sometimes simply have coldstone creamery’s strawberry cheesecake icecream for dinner.

All this lead to my amazing metabolism from my teenage years breaking down completely, and I had invariably packed on an extra 25 lbs. My face looked ridiculous, I got wayyyy curvier and I was huffing-puffing if I had to walk another 10 minutes or climb another flight of stairs. Finally, it hit me that I was no longer fit. That’s when I decided enough was enough. That, and vanity. I tossed out the terrible eating habits, started including breakfast and a snack in my diet, switched to green leafy salads for lunch and cut down my dinner portion to the right size. I still was overloading on carbs, so I started walking to school which was a good 2 mile away, and joined the SDSU gym. That’s where the health bug bit me. Things are okay now. I still over-indulge, but maintain some discipline during the week, and I work out. I am happy where I am with respect to health. *Touchwood*

It is hard. It is difficult when you are thrown into the unknown when you leave home to reach for your dreams. We have all lived such sheltered lives, that it is so easy to forget what is important. Everybody tells you to study hard, be successful, be good, but your own body gets forgotten. Assignments, jobs, commutes pile up, and health and fitness become secondary. Sleep becomes a nuisance and black coffee becomes our best friend.

So dear Mr. Chia, unless you want to be fed with a tube for the rest of your life, get your running shoes out, and stow away all your instant ramen packets. Get on it!

Auntie PB, signing off!

 

6 thoughts on “A tragedy called ‘the college diet’.

  1. You know realized importance of eating healthy and chucking out the food since last year to shed fats and the cholesterol which is still a battle. At times, I am tempted with sweet stuff and this week took twice. I agree, Khichdi is horrible after two days! Good health should be part of our school curriculum, agree and eating healthy is a must.

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  2. Oh I’m so there with you PB, if that makes us aunties, then I’ll take it. I realized this later than you did, so I’m still getting there in terms of fixing myself. But I’ve done enough to be deathly scared of the amount of sugar and refined crap and other agents in all the food I eat and to not hate sweat so much. I’ll tell anyone who will listen how important it is to eat well and exercise. Fat loss is just an added benefit, but its so so important to take care of yourself to make sure you live a life that does not require you to be constantly popping pills and doing things other than sitting on the couch and vegging out.

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