The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The healthy addiction

Last month the brand team I am a part of in my company started this unique contest. Named Fit-test, it was about a team's achieving fitness goals (Basically weight loss and achieving ideal body fat percentage) over a span of three months. As a support, everybody was provided with a gym kit that included a diet diary, t-shirt, wristband, hand towel and a sling bag. The team was assigned a dietician. First a group of employees (Managers and officers in Sales, operations and marketing) was chosen and a lipid profile test for them was done. One or more teams represented each region. The team that achieves the fitness targets fully and in the best manner wins.

Post the first consultation by the dietician, everybody was ready with their fitness goals i.e. this many kilos to lose and body fat percentage needs to be brought down to this level. Managers showed more interest. What followed is, others in my office got envious of us as they were not chosen. But nevertheless as the fitness figures (Current weight, BMI etc), goals, the diet and fitness advice came about in discussions in the office, some of the other managers, who were out of shape in varying degrees got interested and switched to healthy diet to lose weight on their own.

Two persons showed appreciable results. One in the team, the other out of it. The sales officer in the team was short, obese and carried a large paunch for years. There was no self motivation to lose some weight till this happened. The spirit of the team, especially the managers' leading the show by example and the team leader's (Top boss) enquiring about others, did the trick. He has lost six kgs in the first month and looks in visibly better shape. He is hungry for more and want to get enrolled in a gym (Some issues kept everybody out of a gym membership) on his own.

The manager out of the team had similar physical features. He also hardly cared for losing weight all these years. The contest did the trick. As he was out of the team he didn't get any support. But he started on a healthy diet. His lunch orders these days are without fried foods and he started on fruits in the afternoon. In a month results started showing. His paunch looks smaller though there is much more to achieve.

What works best in fitness is self-motivation and initial results. As one gets fitter he/ she starts feeling better too. There is more confidence in the body language and one feels 'comfortable' about his/ her body. This makes one do better in the fitness journey. If the initial weight loss leads to compliments from friends, peers and family it works all the more (As in the case of these two people). The flattering feedback that they are looking in better shape and are doing well in their endeavour has given them another 'push' to stay focussed.

Unhealthy life is addictive. The temptation of fast food, mouthwatering delicacies that are not always healthy, comfort like car/ two-wheeler, elevator are not easy to get out of when one badly needs to get fit. I keep reading of peer pressure that motivates one to lose weight and stay focussed in pursuing the fitness goal. But experienced it for the first time. Healthy life is addictive too.