It’s raining and the music is loud,
It’s finally here, my magical cloud.
My cloud has the rain and the light,
It washes all the negatives in sight.
My cloud, she plays with the sun and the moon,
When tired, she holds herself in a spoon.
She dances, laughs, curses and cries,
When against the storm, she fights, she tries.
My cloud holds the magic to the world,
Life in the cloud, is my love unfurled.
Category Archives: Energy
It’s raining and the music is loud,
Ganges. The beautiful flowing river. The river is personified as the Goddess Ganga. I heard someone refer to it as ‘Ganga Ma” (Mother). I had the privilege of standing on the banks of the river Ganga earlier this week in Rishikesh, dipping my feet in her holiness, feeling the force of her flow and suddenly so much happened within me.
Catharsis. That’s what I felt.
I struggle within myself. There are emotions that have been suppressed over childhood, that at times seek solace. They come out and as an adult it becomes harder to deal with it, as we are supposed to be in charge of our emotions. So, the suppression continues. Emotional padding is done. Band-aids put in place, until it re-surfaces. It’s a cycle. Some emotional set back can trigger a reaction and then the cycle continues. It’s a tough place at times. So, I struggle, as I know many do.
So, there in that moment, as I saw the river flow it occurred to me how selfless the river was. It just flowed. It took with it all that flowed with it – all that was dropped into it.
Ganga Ma, the flowing river taught me lessons:
- She is powerful. She knows her strength. Be like her.
- She goes with the flow. Be like her. Just flow. Just be.
- She takes everything in her stride and drops some things along the way. So can I.
- Some stay part of the way, some will stay the course. Remember that all are not meant to be on the journey together forever.
- She goes through ups and downs, yet remained focussed on her journey. Never faltering. So, there is a lesson in it.
- Her destination was controlled by so many – dams, canals, bridges, but the journey was her real gift. That’s so true for all of us. Enjoy the journey.
- She showed love and she showed her anger – both felt by those who understood her. It was okay to show emotions but only to those who are part of the journey and care.
- Most of all she showed me how to cleanse – the mind, the body and the soul, and to keep growing. Every moment. Every day.
- She taught me to give selflessly. Without expectations. Unconditionally.
I stood there, humbled, hands folded, eyes closed, in prayer. Just listening to her flow. Feeling her energy within me. Wanting to capture that moment inside me so I could carry it beyond that evening.
I felt it was time to cleanse myself. Of my old baggages. Leaving behind those that needed to get off that flowing river. Carrying along new souls as part of the journey. Just being. Just loving. Just living.
Catharsis. Release. Peace. Seeking comfort within. Food and substance was no longer my comfort. I had found my peace. My release.
“A Ticking Time Bomb”.
That was the blunt description given the mounting problem of Type 2 Diabetes within the South Asian Diaspora community in the United Kingdom a few years ago.
According to research, immigrants to the UK from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other nations from South Asia are six times more likely than the indigenous white population to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
Whilst current evidence is inconclusive as to why British Asians are more susceptible to the disorder, medical experts have pointed to the twin evils of a diet high in carbohydrates and saturated fatty acids (all those chapattis and rice dishes) as well as alarmingly low levels of physical activity, especially among older South Asian women, as two of the most significant contributory factors to a problem that is certain to put a huge burden on families and the community at large.
Alarmingly, there is widespread ignorance about Type 2 Diabetes within the community, according to medical experts, which threatens the lives of thousands.
Mumbai-born, with ten amazing years in New Zealand, now North London-based marketing and advertising expert, Raga D’silva was among those ignorant masses.
The 46-year-old mother of twins, whose family had a history of Diabetes, was diagnosed with this illness in 2012. The news brought about a radical change in Raga and has inspired her to help others with Diabetes and raise awareness.
Pic courtesy: Nicola Fenton.
Did you take a magic pill?
You have no idea, how many people I meet, talk to, communicate with, tell me how lucky I am to lose this weight. They keep asking if I took some special pill for it, or tried some special ‘diet’. Some call me ‘lucky’. I smile and thank them all for their kind words. But seriously, in my head I think “lucky my ass”. If hard work is luck, then yes, I am very lucky. It almost feels as if people believe that those like me who lose weight, are illusionists. They eat some magic potions, and behold one day, wake up smaller, just as one day we woke up fat.
Unfortunately, luck has nothing to do with weight loss. Just as it had nothing to do with weight gain. Laziness plays a big role in gaining weight (of course there are those who are afflicted by very painful illnesses, and have medical conditions and just cannot exercise), we start calling it ‘lifestyle’ issues. Hard work plays a major role in losing it, simply!
It’s pure science though. Energy in, Energy out. We can’t put in so much into our bodies and not find ways of burning some of it. It will stay in our bodies in the form of fat. (Very simply put). Nothing to do with magic.I was eating way too much. I made this discovery when I started logging my food. I would honestly think I wasn’t eating much. My meal portions were really small. One piece of bread (roti bread), or a small portion of rice, with simple lentils and salad was my regular meal. Honestly, that was it. Then how did I gain the weight?
(Join the amazing group of women who are taking on the 12 weeks Use it 2 Lose it Challenge. Click here >>>>)
What I did not account for was all that I ate in-between my very small portions – the two biscuits I dunked into my coffee each morning, the post breakfast snack at the office, the post lunch snack, the potato chips pre-dinner, the couple of whiskeys with tandoori chicken, and then the yummy ice cream, or chocolate that followed my very small dinner. Oh, and if I felt very happy that night, and if I was distracted with some exciting ‘food’ show on television (thank you Masterchef), I would inadvertently get at least 2 slices of bread pan toasted with enough butter for a week.
In my mind, I was eating about 1200-1500 calories a day, which is the recommended calorie intake for women my age. However, when I did finally log in my food intake on www.myfitnesspal.com (a free tool to log in food, drink and exercise) I was beyond shocked!!! I was eating for at least 2 women, and some days for three. No wonder I was the size of a house (a proper 3-bedroom one at that -:))
To lose weight, I realised all I had to do is simply eat for one person. Eat right kind of food. You cannot plan to eat for one person and eat a horse. You got to eat right. Decide your meals for next day a day/week in advance. Plan, plan, plan. Most of us don’t know how many calories we intake in each meal. Use free tools such as www.myfitnesspal.com.
Divide your meals into (whatever works for you):
– morning snack
– afternoon snack
– evening meal
When I started eating right, some days I struggled with even consuming 1200 calories a day. When I was eating ‘whatever’ came my way – I was eating upto 4000-5000 calories a day.
It’s simple science. None of us really need to get into specifics of that. What we need to simply remember is consuming our recommended calorie intake every day, exercising every day (any form of exercise is fine) and leading a good lifestyle (drinking plenty of water, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep) will have a huge impact on our health. Staying HAPPY is very critical. I learnt that I am an emotional eater. I eat when I feel low. Now I substitute that with exercise and other forms of activity (I have added running, walking, strength training, weights. There is much more I want to add – hot yoga, aerobics, dancing, swimming……)
Bring the magic to your lives – eat well, exercise! Don’t be secret eaters, as I was.
Let’s not pretend that our weight is just coming on its own. Let’s take ownership, so we can change it, so we can get healthier.
I challenge you to log in your food today on www.myfitnesspal.com. Log in every morsel, every drink, coke, pepsi, sprite, every thing…and then check how many calories you actually take in. Then calculate how many calories you really burn each day. The answers will come. It’s simple science. Not magic. But losing weight can be magical, as I have found out!
(For me focusing on changing my habits for long term lifestyle changes has worked – that has helped me lose weight and keep it off).
My story so far:
So those of you who have followed my journey would know how difficult it was for me that time in 2012, when I was very ill. Walking 5 minutes was a huge effort, let alone the thought of running. It was only going to get worse, and possibly result in the ultimate – death. It was pure strength of will, focus, absolute determination, hard work and the support of my family and close circle of friends that helped me reclaim my health and my life. I have come a long way since then. I can now run 5 kms, I won’t say effortlessly, but quite easily. On my recent trip to Brixen, Italy I had a few minutes to make up my mind about para-gliding in the Dolomites. I have never done any thing like this before. I decided to just go for it. And what an amazing 20 minutes that was, flying high in the sky over 3500 meters above ground, looking down at the valley. It was beyond anything I had experienced or imagined before. I suddenly learnt the power of mental endurance. Then a couple of weeks later, came the opportunity to do a 15 kms Bridges Challenge for Diabetes UK which further reaffirmed my belief in myself, and what I could achieve, if I set my mind to it. This gave me the will to set out a new challenge. With continued encouragement from all of you out there, I know I can do this. Read the rest of this entry »