Thursday, 20 October 2011

My good hair moment...

A celebrity is any well-known TV or movie star who looks like he spends more than two hours working on his hair.  ~Steve Martin
Hair brings one's self-image into focus; it is vanity's proving ground.  Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices.  ~Shana Alexander
I was always blessed with thick, black hair. They were also long till my mom used to take care of them. That included oiling, washing, oiling again and tying them into neat plaits. Readying me for school. One fine day I asked mom whether she didn’t feel that I should manage my own things, I was probably 11 years old then. That’s the last time mom washed my hair… I was in my 7th grade had a haircut soon after I took things on my own hand, it was a Bob cut. Life got busy and I didn’t bother oiling or taking any care of my hair. My hair still looked great, Everyone loved the volume it had.
Taking care of my hair actually started when I was in college. I guess that’s when everyone starts paying attention to how one looks. The evenings at the girls’ hostel used to be fun. We would have all the beauty regimens going on right from waxing, pedicures, manicures to the face masks. Most important being the hair care activities. Saturday evening would be the day for oiling the hair. One girl would do it for the other and the favour would be returned. At times it used to be quite a sight to see a queue of 10 girls one behind the other and giving the one in the front a nice head massage. My hair looked the best then. It got the nutrition from food (was quite a balanced diet as I was studying in a catering college where menu planning was quite an integral part of the whole mess affair), regular oiling, head massage and use of a good shampoo and conditioner.
This followed all the while till I was married and had my elder son. With the baby requiring my attention, me going back to work and managing things at home too. Hair care was the last thing that was on my mind or I had the time for. The result was me losing a lot of hair. I guess I wasn’t loving my hair enough and in return it too didn’t give me the due attention. The companionship going kaput!
This went on till I had my second child. Now my kids are 5.2 years and 2.3 years old. I got an invite to attend the DoveSpa women blogger’s meet on 16th October 2011 by virtue of me joining the Indiblogger. I was seriously in luck. I am not a serious blogger and I just happened to be joining the other bloggers to see what they were doing. There I see the bloggers meet and the free gift hamper… wow, what else could I ask for! I registered for both anyway.
Then I was wondering whether to attend the event, it being a Sunday and I had loads of things lined up. My boys to take care of. I spoke to my in laws and parents about it. They asked me to go ahead and they would  manage the kids. With a possibility to be able to attend the event I started getting to know the other girls who were from my area and had registered for the event. I sort of became the group leader, we were travelling from really far!  We all decided to meet at a common point and travel together to the venue Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai.
Sunday 16th October 2011, I dropped my boys at my parents place and headed to meet the other girls. Met all the girls (the Navi Mumbai gang, as we called ourselves) at the appointed time. What I learnt from them was they wouldn’t have made it if they had to travel alone. It was the same for me. It helped us interacting with each other and making it to the venue. Believe me the journey was hardly anything. We didn’t realize how time flew. We were at Four Seasons dot on time. We had a great time there enjoying everything that was arranged for us from the foot massage to hair wash and styling. Dove launched its new damage therapy hair care product, Nourishing oil care range. The presentation was really nice, a sort of eye opener for me… who had lost the romance that she had with her hair. It took me back to my college days. While I was getting a hair wash, the girl told me about the benefits of the new range and how it would make a difference to my gorgeous hair. I could  really feel the difference at the end of it, my hair which is dry and frizzy felt nice. This was probably my best hair moment. The Oil care range is meant for a person like me. Who has a super busy life managing home, kids and a career. I totally loved the new range of products that they gave us in the hamper and I have already started using them. I promise my hair that I’ll be back into the special relationship that I shared with it. Let the flame of love be lit all over again!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Your guide to the nine months and becoming a Yummy mummy

Hello!  It’s time for another blog entry….  I guess I should be more regular here. Will try!
This time let me write on ‘Yummy Mummy’!! 
I don’t really know what it means but have been reading the phrase here and there often. Since I am a mommy (have 2 lovely boys) people often tell me that I have maintained myself well. Just the other day I was chatting with a Dietician friend of mine after almost 8 years, on Facebook.  She had uploaded her children’s pictures but there wasn’t any of hers. I asked her to upload a few of her snaps too so that I could see how she looked after so many years. She said she couldn’t dare put up her pictures as she had put on a lot of weight during her second pregnancy and it didn’t shift at all. I was surprised to hear this coming from a Dietician.
A school friend of mine who is a full time homemaker and has a 6 years old daughter wanted tips on how to lose weight. I told her just two things, have a 9-6 job and have another child. Do the running around and you are fit as a fiddle and in shape too!  On a serious note if you are wondering, why people are seeking weight loss tips from me. The background is I put on around 20 kgs weight during both my pregnancies but managed to knock all of it both the times. My kids are three years apart. So my friends have seen the before and after effect both the times. I never joined any gym or went on a diet. But I ate smart and had a healthier lifestyle. A few changes here and there take you a long way! That’s exactly what I did.
This made me share my own story with the new mothers who are struggling to shift their weights after pregnancy. Especially the ones who cannot hit the gym or follow a diet plan and have busy lives. I am not an expert on the subject but what has worked for me I would like to share with others. Here’s your guide to the nine months and beyond to becoming a yummy mummy!
1.       Don’t get worried about the weight you put on during pregnancy.
These days when a woman learns that she is pregnant starts looking up on the internet for advice and tips. What used to come from the elder ladies in the joint family in the olden days now comes from many internet sites and there’s loads of advice out there like weight calculators, baby development charts etc. Believe me every pregnancy is different.  Even for the same woman the pregnancies will be quite different from each other. Don’t compare yourself with the other women. So don’t worry, eat healthy. Monitor your weight; the gynecologist will point it out to you if there is anything of concern.  

2.       Visit your gynecologist on schedule.
Maintain a diary and make sure that you follow the routine visits to your gynecologist. Note down any concerns/ questions that you may have. What happens is you have many things to ask and can’t recollect them when you are with your doctor. Keeping a diary comes handy. Always ask and clarify your doubts no matter how small or silly you feel they are. Nothing is silly, it could be bothering you so make sure you clear that doubt.

3.       Create and celebrate special moments.
Nine months is a long wait, your hormones are high and your body is changing. For some it’s a difficult change to handle. But create those special moments and understanding that why you react this way, is important. Keep your partner in confidence and share your emotions and anything new that you learn about this phase. Basically talk! He’ll understand you better and accept you with all the changes while the two of wait for your bundle of joy to arrive.

4.       Prepare for the new member to arrive home.
In the last trimester the moment you get into the 8th month. Make sure your home is ready for the new member to arrive. Keep the clothes ready. New ones to be washed, dried and be ready for use. Some babies are in a hurry to meet you, so you be prepared. In India some cultures believe that one should not keep the clothes and other stuff ready before the baby actually arrives. But there has to be some preparedness, otherwise it can get very tricky.

5.       Be mentally ready.
It is a time of anxiety, no matter how prepared you are. I have seen that the husband/ partner gets more panicky than the woman who is going to deliver. But when one knows what to expect, both for a natural delivery or a Cesarean section the anxiety is much less. Make sure you have briefed your partner too, it helps when he is ready as well.

6.       Baby comes home.
Now is the time when you eat healthy so that the baby gets good nutrition from you. In India especially in the North, women are given a good amount of ghee (clarified butter) and other things generally considered to be fattening. There are some women who refrain from taking them thinking that they’ll put on a lot of weight. Make sure you eat wisely, taking into account your nutritional requirements.

7.       Change your lifestyle to get back to your natural self.
Some ladies join gyms and go on diets just after the baby turns 3 months old. Now everyone has to adapt things to fit into her lifestyle. For some it’s just not possible to make time for the gym or other fitness activities, in that case, make some smart changes in your lifestyle.
Once the baby starts taking the top feed the calories and nutritional requirements for you changes. You don’t need so many calories now.  Have frequent smaller meals. May be instead of 3 large meals, it can be 6 smaller ones. Eat healthy. Have an early dinner. With the baby around you won’t get your beauty sleep but a mother’s body gets used to whatever sleep she manages.

8.       Have realistic weight loss targets.
When the child has already celebrated the first birthday, do a reality check on yourself when it comes to the weight. Work on how you wish to look. If you do some walking. May be just 30 minutes a day, a bit of exercise may be just 15 minutes in the morning and watched what you are eating. You’ll lose weight gradually.

What I did I watched what I was eating. I listened to my mother in law and had all that was traditionally given to a young mother (amongst the North Indians). That included ghee and other stuff made with Ghee, dry fruits, sugar/ jiggery etc.  I exclusively breast fed my kids till they were 5 months old and later just in the mornings and evenings when I went back to work. This went on till they were 1.5 years old. This helped me losing the remaining weight gradually.
I used to exercise for 15 minutes upon waking up. Walked to the station to take the train to work, which is just 10 minutes away. After getting off the train it’s again a 10 minutes’ walk to my work place. This is repeated in the evening as well when coming back home. So in all I walk for 40 minutes (in stages though) everyday. Also, I fast on Mondays, have only fruits that day. Apart from the religious sentiments it also cleanses your system. This is what I have done to lose the extra weight that came with my pregnancy.

Of the 20 kgs that I had put on during the entire pregnancy, 10 kgs was gone soon after delivery and the remaining 10 went off gradually. It took about 15 months for the remaining weight to shift. For my child’s second birthday I was back to my normal self. Everyone could see the difference. 20 Kgs is a good weight to shift! How I wish I had not given away some of my good clothes… thinking that I may never fit into them. I guess it’s a good idea to keep those clothes and take them out of their storage once in a while, that’ll keep you motivated to reach your goal quicker and you’ll remain focused.

9.        Take pride in yourself.
Be your own critique. Be happy with yourself and accept the real woman…. you!  Pay a bit of attention to your appearance and spend a little bit of time taking pampering yourself just the way you do for numerous other things. You may not look like the models on the magazine covers but you’ll be a confident new mother. This confidence in you gives the new meaning to your life and you are the Yummy Mummy!