svasthi.in

About Svasthi.in

Thank you for visiting my website. I am a mother of a wonderful 5 year old as well as a full-time software engineer. This website is a hobby fueled by my interest and study of fitness.

In all honesty, the main reason to start this website was to put out the articles I was writing to help my clients understand some basics or to help myself research and study various subjects. I have been a student of fitness for over an year now.

As I learnt I have become more and more horrified at the amount of misinformation people tell each other. I myself have believed and propagated an amazing array of unscientific and completely wrong information. It isn’t that there aren’t good websites that only feature scientific and true information. It’s just that those are terribly outnumbered. People don’t want facts. They want confirmation for their beliefs even when those beliefs haven’t worked for them.

Lots of companies are preying on desperation to look thin or healthy and selling more and more stuff that doesn’t work! Detox diets, fad diets, useless supplements, fat burners, gainers, weight-loss wraps, injections and drugs. Many of these have no research backing AT ALL. And a few have funded “research” that backs themselves. But people don’t care to find out.

Once a myth gets created with a sprinkling of science to make it sound true, people just lap it all up. Some people with a “Dr.” in front of their name use their credibility to sell nonsensical items. They name a certain hormone as the villain for all your health concerns. Or they name another hormone and paint it the hero that will save you from your health concerns. What do they gain from it? Their books are best sellers, they sell supplements, they have a cult following on social media. The moment someone points out holes in their logic, the cult unleashes its rage on them.

I don’t know much about running websites and making a social media presence. However, if I can convince one person not to blindly believe and to question, I consider it a privilege. Hence this website.

How I got interested in fitness

I am a software engineer by profession. A decade and a half of completely sedentary lifestyle and a love for fast food really took a toll on my health. Even before I started working, I was not an athletically inclined person. I loved dancing, but always lacked the strength and health required for it. So I usually maximized on grace and expressions than technique and form.

I was interested in health solely for the aesthetic looks but the commonly available information was from shitty articles or bro-science. Much of which never really matched. I was always good at spotting conflicting ideas and in a way this saved me from fad diets. I confess to subjecting myself to some mythical massage that removes fat though with the idea that it won’t kill me to try it. However it doesn’t work beyond providing a placebo. My weight went up and up. It came down briefly during the breast-feeding phase. But as soon as I stopped that, weight started increasing again. Knees started paining, stairs made me huff and puff. Trekking became unthinkable. I could not carry my kid beyond seconds at a time. House chores became extremely taxing and resulted in enormous fights with my husband. However, I never linked everything back to the state of my body.

Finally, on August 10th, 2016, on my way back from work, I misstepped on the edge of the footpath and fell down. There was a sharp pain in my left foot but I didn’t think it was a fracture. I even massaged it and hobbled to the taxi and got home. By that time, I knew it was a fracture. There was mind numbing pain. The two weeks that followed were the most terrible I have ever experienced. I had pain in my armpits and my right knee from trying to use crutches. I was too heavy and yet too weak in muscle to use crutches correctly and my knees had already been in bad shape. Getting around the house was difficult enough. Getting to the hospital for a checkup was torture.

When I told the doctor my troubles, he did not offer me any drugs or painkillers to put me at ease. He told me, “Lose weight”. At that moment, I could have attacked him. I thought he was heartless to say that to someone with hardly any mobility. A year hence I really toy with the idea of going and thanking him. Because that’s the turning point for me: that point of helplessness after which you have to claw your way out to survive.

A few friends recommended some diet and another added me to this Facebook group. This amazing group was created by a top fitness company in India which currently offers a completely free diet and training app as well as paid online coaching. Yet its employees shared detailed information about the science behind it on this free-for-all facebook group. You only pay if you want to hire one of them to actually make plans individualized to your needs. If you are willing to make your own charts, they help you, review these charts, suggest changes, tell you the reasoning behind it complete with references. And the feed is flooded by real people sharing their success stories. Some of them did it on their very own without hiring any mentor. I was hooked.

Day after day I read post after post in this group; followed references, asked some questions. This was the start of my study. Later I learnt that they also have an academic section that offers fitness related certificate courses. I had already followed a quantified diet following their recommendation and lost some weight while procuring a wheelchair to make it possible for me to do basic cooking without needing help. Since I knew it works I did toy with the idea of hiring a mentor, but eventually, I was really interested in knowing for myself. So I registered for the certificate courses. The best part about these courses were the continuous interaction with the faculty and the weekly seminars. I still think this association was one of the best decisions of my life.

One year later

As I completed the second certification, I started designing charts for near and dear ones according to their goals. It is the most fulfilling thing to create charts that they can actually follow and see results. I love seeing their excitement at their progress. I have never felt like that about software. Though there is satisfaction at accomplishing difficult tasks, it doesn’t impact lives as directly as being a fitness consultant does. I probably won’t give up software but fitness has become a major passion for me. It is my way of making a difference in the world.

Currently I work on this website in my free time along with preparing diet charts and workout plans for my friends and relatives. I do not use this website or my fitness advice to make money.

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