Personal Growth: Your Best Investment
Updated: Jun 22, 2019
How after an amazing breakthrough at an event called LifePlugin, I lost 17 kgs in 6 months!
How the magic started?
In September 2018, my company Social Kinnect had a fabulous event called #Kinnection. So #Kinnection2018 was a company offsite, a first of a kind in 7 years, it was a fun, frolic but also a goal setting event which laid the foundation to each and every team creating a vision board for their respective teams to lay down long term goals for ourselves.
Just after the event got over, my CEO, Rohan, came up to me and told me to keep myself free for the last weekend of October. As part of #KinnectEDGE, our Enhanced Development Growth Ecosystem, he was taking a few of us tenured senior members to a life design / personal transformation festival. I asked him what the event was all about, he said, "It's best if I experienced it myself."
And experience I did!
Having worked closely for 5 years, with my both my co-founders, Rohan and Chandni, I've always known how strong advocates they are of all-round personal development, growth, fitness and mindfulness at work and in life. We've always heard of amazing stories they shared after attending a couple of A-Fests by Mindvalley.
LifePlugin, was a similar, such, one of a kind life design, personal transformation 3-day weekend event in Goa! Check out this video!
So what was in store for all of us at this event? I've been a corporate trainer for the early part of my life and have attended/conducted leadership/outbound training and learning sessions. But what I experienced at this summit was a game-changer. It not only got to the roots of my thinking but also enhanced my vision and my thought process in terms of how I should approach life.
How you'd ask me? The results speak for themselves...
I chose to purposefully post my Before/After picture here and when I started this article. This tangible result is what people wake up to and open their eyes to more often than none.
2 months post #LifePlugin I'm 10 kgs lighter...
As I edit this article, 6 months later, I've lost 17 kgs
This weight loss and fitness gain are in a healthy manner from the time I went to this event. But it's a lot more than just losing the weight. It's more about fitness beyond just numbers. It's about how a few breakthroughs got me to completely change the way I thought of fitness, (Mental, Physical and Spiritual.)
And this is for, most of you who follow me on social media have seen my daily, weekly, monthly transformation journey from a physical fitness standpoint. Of course, it's about that journey. But I also wanted to write this post to share my learnings with all of you who've asked me about my breakthroughs I had at #LifePlugin that helped me change my thinking, philosophy, and belief, even after having a decently fit/active life to achieve results in a way I've never achieved before. And if you ask me, I treated this as an investment in myself and my life. So much, so, I've booked a few tickets for my team members and my partner for the next event. At the end of the day #KinnectEDGE also stands for all round learning and development beyond work.
What LifePlugin is all about?
We had one-one sessions, workshops, exercises and activities that gave us insight on dietary, nutrition, fitness, yoga, exercise and psychological as well as subconscious eternal growth on a spiritual level. With sessions on soul meditation, breath work, self-love and goal setting at a personal level it was a great all round transformation breakthrough.
Generally, you wouldn't resonate with such trainings conducted in a corporate environment, and certainly not if you're preached upon these learnings. We even had some intense immersive experiences like walking meditation, Reiki healing, and breakout sessions which dwelt into bio-hacking, personal branding, 90 day transformation, leadership which resonated with each tribe member at their own level.
My personal breakthroughs
So the real question is, how did all of this translate back to get the results for me.
Post the event, there were a few personal breakthroughs that I'd made up my mind to act on.
For sure, I was unfit as hell. (17 kgs Overweight at 92.5 Kgs for a height of 174 cm)More emotional & spiritual balance in my Life as much as I had at work.That step to make a #LifePlan, to support my Himalayan dream in the next 10 yrs.
So I took upon myself to start with one goal at a time. While No. 3 is long term, 1 and 2 were much more easy to take on. And happy to say, I've started achieving them in bits and pieces already. And this post will focus on how.
My fitness journey
In this post, I'll address what I did to start working towards losing weight, being fitter physically and spiritually.
I'd break it into three parts
Bio-Hacks (Body, Nutrition and Wellness)
Physical Activity / Exercise
Spiritual and Mental Well-Being
Bio-Hacks (Body, Nutrition and Wellness)
These learnings were quite useful from a longevity, sustained focus towards fitness and probably you may not see the results now, but realize it years later especially if you keep practicing it every single day. I did my bit in short bursts. And writing down some of them here.
Contrast Shower (Hot-Cold) - This is something that's a huge asset especially if you decide to do rigorous training and weights. Perfect recovery for the body and also helps kill fat cells and regenerate tissues faster. The concept is simple. The “contrast” is from hot to cold. This is nothing new, there is research that claims the Romans were in on this little secret, way back in the day. The idea is you want to get the blood flowing with warm water since the warm temperatures will open the blood vessels and flush the body with blood. Then switch to cold which will drive the blood inward to warm and protect the internal organs from the cold; then we go back to warm to get the blood going again, etc.
Apple-Cider Vinegar with Lemon & Warm Water in the morning Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice are two natural substances you can add to your diet that may support your weight loss efforts. Neither can replace a healthy diet and exercise to lose weight, however. If you are someone who doesn't love to drink water, adding fresh lemon juice may help you to drink more water, which may help you feel full throughout the day and boost your energy level
Eat 10 overnight-soaked almonds every morning Almonds are one of the few nuts that are super rich in a wide range of minerals. They are rich in biotin, Vitamin E, manganese, copper, vitamin B2, phosphorous, magnesium and fiber. Along with these vitamins and minerals, almonds offer protein, omega- 3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The monounsaturated fats in almonds control appetite and make you feel fuller. Keeping soaked almonds handy helps you avoid binge eating thereby triggering weight loss. They also keep your heart healthy, reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Besides, vitamin E from the soaked almonds works as an antioxidant which inhibits free radical damage to prevent aging and inflammation.
Plant based Protein shake post workout: I tried being Vegan for the first month and thereafter I've decided to not consume eggs, meat. I anyways don't drink milk mostly. So my protein intake became pretty much limited. That's when I decided to order a Plant based protein shake from Healthkart. That's something that gave an adequate amount of protein especially since I'd decided to also do weight training to shed the fat, carbs and gain muscle, become leaner. Now I'm also trying out Whey Protein and Intermittent Fasting.
No/LowCarb Breakfast/Lunch: Most Indian food has plenty of carbs. So you can't completely eliminate it, but yes, I've tried to limit my carb intake. After the plant protein shake, my first carb intake was when I ate Poha/Upma/Idli for breakfast after reaching office. Then for lunch, I ate Dal, cooked vegetables and a salad. Or sometimes even a bowl of curd. Over a period of 1.5 months, I've been directly eating Lunch post my protein shake. A suggestion Rohan gave me instead of doing Intermittent fasting, which I found personally more sustainable as well. Some days, I also got along Jowar Roti/Bhakri, which are more fibrous than chapatis (less nutrition value.)
Evening Snack: This is the trickiest part. I admit, I've cheated on many occasions on this with the munchies lying around at work, having that occasional samosa or something to munch on. But I realized sooner, the best bet on this one is an apple, dry khakhra, walnuts, soaked almonds helped.
Light Dinner preferably without any carb: Dinner mostly comprised of Salad, Curd, Dal and or cooked vegetables and on certain days if I crave too much, I've had my share of brown-rice and sambar/dal. The lentils increase the proteins as macronutrients.
Apply Magnesium Oil 1/2 hours before I slept, I applied magnesium oil, which I easily made at home by dissolving a table spoon of magnesium chloride crystals I bought off Amazon. It is an antidote to stress, the most powerful relaxation mineral available, and it can help improve your sleep. A lot of doctors aren’t clued in to the benefits of magnesium, because it's used all the time in conventional medicine. Magnesium is an important mineral that is necessary for overall health. Benefits of these supplements range from fighting inflammation and lowering blood pressure to possibly improving sleep.
7-8 hours of sleep This a no-brainer. Most of us gain weight cause of lack of sleep. And if you do have that, as I mentioned earlier, use Magnesium for your sleep. I experienced the benefits of this once earlier as well, in Ladakh. I barely did any exercise, had timely diet and 8 hours of sleep every day for 10 days. I lost 3.5 kgs after my trip. So this is something which worked wonders for sure!
Vitamin D: Raking in the sun every day on my way to work. I'll sleeve up my shirts and roll up my trousers to my knees and sink in the sun for the Vitamin D. I used the Vitamin D tracking app D-Minder
Tracking Macro-Nutrients: This can get extreme, but if you do want to track it, you may use myfitnesspal or fitbit (It's inbuilt / connects with myfitnesspal as well.) Only if you're way too intense, especially after losing water weight, it's tough to lose further kgs. So tracking and choosing what you eat, helps most.
Green Tea / Black Coffee / Herbalife –Afresh: All of these are antioxidants / help metabolism a lot. One or two cups a day is always healthy and not a overdose. Especially if you take it before work-out, then helps a ton!
Korean Spinal Therapy Machine: Last but not least, this is something which helped me a lot I believe. However, this is a lot more immersive and deeper than one ordinarily would know about. It’s like getting an alternative therapy using Far Infra-Red radiation penetrating your stomach / spine unto 7 cms and helping metabolism / blood circulation / cleansing and muscle as well as cells recovering faster. Can’t explain as part of one blog post. And this was a machine that my friend runs a franchise of, so it kind of was a momentum boost. But it’s kind of a bio-hacking machine which has a lot more than just weight loss element to it.
Intermittent Fasting - I wasn't too big on to it in the first few months, though my diet pattern was sustainable. But after a period of exercising regularly and losing a considerable weight, I hit a plateau. And that's when I started Intermittent Fasting (IF), 16/8 and in a week, broke the plateau by losing 1.5-2 kgs, but at the same time feeling better and having a more balanced diet. Intermittent fasting (intermittent energy restriction or intermittent calorie restriction) is an umbrella term for various eating diet plans that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting over a defined period. Intermittent fasting is under preliminary research to assess if it can produce weight loss comparable to long-term calorie restriction.
Physical Activity / Exercise:
Now this is something which I changed drastically. Before LifePlugin, I was used to running and walking for physical activity. In fact, last year, when I’d lost around 7-8 kgs, I’d done all of it via running and swimming. Last year, I picked up an allergy and my swimming was thrown out of my schedule. And post quitting my work out routine, I also had bad diet habits and lack of sleep, which made me gain all the 8 kgs back and in fact even more, when I became 15 kgs overweight. So what did I do this time around?
Joined a gym (Knockdown) 7 mins walking distance from my house. Increases the motivation to go to the Gym everyday. Plus, this gym is also open 24 x 7! So your convenience as to when you want to go. Sometimes it's totally empty, as though It's your own private gym. I've gone as early as 5.00 AM in the morning.
Weight Training: First two weeks, I did Upper Body, Lower Body and Cardio for 6 days a week. Then I researched a bit more and started choosing each and every body part on every day, excluding cardio or limiting it to 1 day a week. I did have guidance of trainers at the gym, but without a personal trainer I did my own YouTube tutorial and started doing the exercises which were showed in this
7 day split workout routine. Increase Weights on a Bi-Weekly Basis. As soon as I started to get used to the workout, I changed my routine and increased my weights as well. Most often, muscles if they get used to a certain routine, and then you don't push yourself, you may plateau and not lose weight or may just gain fat / lose muscle.
Mixed my workout Routine: Sometimes you don't feel like going to the gym. My resort then was, Resistance Bands, 10-15 minute HIIT / Daily Cardio App on Android Play store, they do the trick right. When I went to Dalhousie, I did precisely that. I Youtubed Resistance Band Exercises like Barbarian Body or Hasfit.
Basketball: Mostly, played Basketball with #Kinnectors, our office as part of #KinnectEDGE program, goes to play basketball every Wednesday, mostly... And even though I'm not an expert at this game, I went almost every other week to play. Being the active running sport it is, I did get a good workout session out of this.
Spiritual and Mental Wellbeing
Meditation: I've practically meditated every single day. I use the app Headspace. In fact as I write this post, I've continuously meditated for 35 days. Even if it's a 10, 15, 5 or 45 mins meditation, I make it a point to get focused and stress on the 'Art of Meditating' every other day at least. Lot of help.
Yoga and Breathing Exercises: Not always, but probably once a week, I've practiced Yoga wherever I could. And also been trying to disconnect as much as possible and take time out to read more on spiritual wellness. Breathing exercises usually do happen as part of Headspace, but also during my early morning walks to the gym / Uber to office.
Even though this seems like an arduous task, trust me, it wasn't as hard as you think. I really hope to stay consistent to achieve my final goal to my fitness. But I feel this event, LifePlugin was one of the most transformational events I've ever attended.
From fitness to mindfulness, to personal growth, the learnings at LifePlugin touched all the right chords! In the 80 days since LifePlugin, I've been a lot fitter, and feel younger. As I write this post, I've already crossed 11.5 kgs, but by maintaining a healthy diet, I'm more mindful, super productive at work, and I've discovered a rejuvenated version of myself.
I hope this post has some good learnings for all and do let me know if you have a similar journey and or want to share/ask me something. Thanks for reading. I know it's not an easy read. Hope you have a fit and fab journey and a #LifePluginStory kind of a story of your own.