Weekend Special! Pay For Thy Sins

If you’re like me, love your food and like exercising only because it keeps you active but you’re not entirely obsessed about it, then read on. This post is for you. If you haven’t ever exercised or don’t believe in it or shy away from it then again, this post is for you. For those who’re already doing it, then you may skip the post or share your experiences as veterans of exercise.


“What’s your goal?” This was the question my new and first gym trainer asked me. Since I have not had any prior experience with trainers, I said, ” I need to lose fat here and here,” pointing to the stubborn lump around my waist and my arms. My arms have often been compared to Salman Khan’s (for those who are unaware of Bollywood stars, then he would be a Hollywood Sylvester Stallone) and a point worth noting is that this comparison has been voiced by the opposite gender. That probably makes it even worse.

Seeming unsatisfied, he said, ” What else?

Not sure, I replied, ” I’d like to run the marathon!” Fortunately, hubby’s news on the Mumbai marathon in Jan came in handy now.

That’s ok. Everybody runs the marathon here…is there something else?”

I’ve done it before but I still think of the day and think, it was a miracle. This time I want to train for it and do it right.”


Great! That sounds better. We’ll get you ready. 3 or 4 of the ladies in your building have done the Everest base camp and the lady who was leaving when you entered, she just returned from Kilimanjaro. So a marathon will be a piece of cake. You’ll do it. Let’s get started.”

I loved his confidence. His faith rubbed off on me and I was ready to be a good student. I’ve always been the ‘good’ student, one who is willing to work hard. That was day 1 of my training and I was going to do it right.

3 days a week, fast-forward on class 5 and the conversation went something like this.

How was your weekend?” the trainer asked, as I jogged at a speed of 7 .4 on the treadmill. He had asked me this question every Monday morning over the last 3 Mondays ( since the time I joined the gym).

Ok,” I’d respond trying to focus on my jogging.

It was only on the 3rd such Monday that I realized what he was actually saying. “How was the weekend?” translated to ” Did you eat out or in? What did you eat over the weekend.”

On class 8, Monday again I was asked the very same question and it was followed by ” What did you eat during the weekend,” confirming my assumption.

Normal food,” I said and moved on to do the warm-up stretches.


I have never been over-weight, if the BMI calculation is anything to go by. However, that dream body has always been a dream but i’m not complaining. My Grade 9 teacher had said its puppy fat that will wear off once I grew. It never did. Over time it changed its name to ‘mother fat’ (fat because I had given birth to 2 children) and then it became ‘forty plus fat’ and it was still ok. There would be occasional misgivings but nothing that lasted too long. By now I had learnt the art of dressing- in a way that the unsightly fat was covered. I exercised because I liked it but I also loved my food. Exercise allowed me to eat guilt-free. If you know me, I can see you smiling right now. So when I say ” Normal food,” it could mean anything from ice-cream, Bengali sweets, cakes and cookies along with 3 good meals. I do not over-eat but neither do I not eat!

We need to see some change in you in a month. Did you eat anything sweet during the weekend?” Now he was drilling down the big question to ensure complete clarity.

Remember the extension of the word “ASSUME” – Don’t make an ‘ASS of U and ME’

Roti (bread), dal (pulses), Sabji (veggies) on Saturday….Sunday Fish and rice…umm…falooda (3 scoops of ice-cream with nuts) on Sunday evening,” I had moved on to hand extensions.

3 sets of 20 each of those extensions,” he said.

“Ok.” I loved working out and now with a trainer who constantly motivated me, it felt good.

After that 2 reps of burpees…alternate it with mountain climbers and 5 minutes of elliptical at a speed of 8 or above.”

I nodded, moving on to leg extensions.

And then, ” We need to get that falooda out of your system.

I was paying for my sins.

20% is exercise. 80% is food!

I knew that 80:20 figure but “Really? Who sticks to it? What’s the point of working hard in life if you can’t even eat what you like?” The principle on which I’ve lived my entire life. “Weren’t we working for our stomach?” I thought

“I will give you a diet chart tomorrow,” he continued.

And I am thinking, ” Thank God he has no clue of the tea cakes I had for breakfast on Sat morning at Starbucks or the puranpoli (a traditional Maharashtrian bread stuffed with jaggery and lentils) I had today before coming for the workout for quick energy.”

An involuntary smile on my lips and the trainer is watching. I am shaken out of my reverie by a stern ” FOCUS.” This is not the first time my smile has landed me in trouble. But that’s another story, some other day.

I had committed a graver sin than I fathomed.


Beginning my burpees, I was a little embarrassed. Its been a long time since somebody or anybody spoke like this to me…its also been a long time since I had ever learnt anything new that required discipline.

When was the last time you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone? How did it go?

Friday, my 10th class

When I had done the elliptical at a speed of 8, warm-up, ladder jumps, inclined leg extensions, used the medicine ball, weights, snakes on the rope my heart was thumping in my gullet and I had to take breaks to catch my breath, I heard my trainer’s voice, ” This is weekend special,” followed by a really sweet smile.

Later that evening, to usher in the weekend, we went to Theo Broma (a coffee shop which serves the most amazing pastries and sandwiches). I had a cappuccino without sugar (which is how I have it anyways) and that’s all. Strangely,I had no urge to take a bite of the red velvet cake my younger daughter was devouring mouthful.

Today is Sunday and I haven’t had cake or cookies or falooda 🙂 That’s 2 days in a row. There’s no regret or guilt. I guess exercising is giving me the right dose of dopamine and serotonin and endorphins; so who needs sugar? So its out sugar-addiction and in, exercise.

I’m not saying I will never eat sweet because I know me. But the sugar loaded falooda will be easier to resist now.

I am definitely a quick learner 🙂 .

My trainer obviously believed in “Spare the rod and spoil the child” 😉

For all those who still have doubts about hitting the gym or exercising, its not about looking like you’re thirty when you’re forty. That’s secondary. Primarily, sugar feeds on cancer cells. Cut out the sugar, cut out the food supply to cancer cells. Replace the sugar with exercise so you feel good (Dopamine + Serotonin) . And if you do look and feel years younger than your ages, there’s no reason to complain, right? And even if it doesn’t extend your life, you might as well live the life you have, well. Its about treating your body with respect!


I know there are hundreds of videos and sites which tell you the benefits .

Exercising or fitness is not a fad. Its a necessity.

In today’s age when jobs involve minimum movement of the fingers, introducing exercise into daily life is important. Our parents or grand-parents did not need to exercise because their way of living involved enough of it. Its the price we pay for development or modernizing. And honestly, its not so bad. What do you think?


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2 responses to “Weekend Special! Pay For Thy Sins”

  1. Andrea Stephenson Avatar

    Good for you Smitha, that sounds like a very energetic exercise routine and some challenging goals – I’m glad it’s paying off in terms of you feeling better without needing the sugar!


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      It’s definitely kept me away from the white poison 😀. Decided to share my experience; If I could encourage even person it would be great because I’m just another normal person with fat😀 and a sweet tooth.

      Liked by 1 person

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