Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Six Pack – part 1

I don't want to sound self promoting (at least not to the level where it becomes crystal clear) but I am known for my fascination for new things (spouse excluded from such venture for safety reason) or more specifically - new personal projects. I have a relatively fertile mind for such things and I never fail to come up with ideas (almost always challenging though may not be very appealing, especially to my better half).
Last year as the summer vanished quickly and the winter sped into us suddenly I was left in an awkward situation without any good project to ride past the six months of confinement (okay, not exactly - we occasionally go for snow tobogganing if there is a good snow fall). I had to scramble to find something suitable, something that would require several months to fulfill. A little thought and voila! 
I always had this secret desire for a six pack. If you are one of those ignorant who doesn't know what a six pack is I'll be more than happy to educate you. (With internet so much on the face it has now become a matter of past to get opportunities to educate others. Everybody knows everything. Thank you for your ignorance.) Here it goes: in the mid section of our body – the belly – can be coerced to display six neatly drawn creases – if all the fats from that section can be taken off and muscles are built by means of abdominal exercises. It looks great, women likes it, may not be exactly considered as a very healthy condition as it requires reducing body fat to minimum level and finally it is quite difficult to achieve (for regular men – to be specific; not sure if women are interested in it too, but may not be totally out of question). A quick search on the net brings back thousands of sites trying to sale magic theories to magic potions to assist people in getting it quickly and effortlessly. I am sure there are plenty of people desperate enough to pay attention to these bogus claims and get poorer without any discernible output. I tend to be very scientific minded, and like to progress steadily but surely (unless I lose interest and move on to another project, a usual scenario).
Lately I had gained a few pounds. Frequent lunch and dinner parties where food is present in abundance and the palate and appetite for delicious preparations are incessant what more do you expect? While my waist line had expanded and shrunk in regular intervals over the last few years based on my gorging habit, you got to see the roundness of the bellies that some of my friends or acquaintances have . Drinking too much beer can do that to you, so can rich, fatty, delicious food (biryani, polau, chicken roasts, curries mmm… I can almost smell the appetizing aroma of the spice heavy Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani dishes). Anyway, let’s not be so judgmental on other people’s tummies (not in such openness anyway).
Going back to the six pack - once I set my mind up about something I take the standard project planning approach – being in IT dealing with projects of all kind and nature one thing I have learned very well is to plan things out. I spent weeks on drawing up all sort of plans, with sketches on my potential progress, researched food nutrition and calorie contents, listed possible meal options with pre-counted caloric content – separated by lunch and dinner (I skip breakfast as I rarely go to bed before 2 AM in the morning and end up having several early morning snacks – not healthy but fits my life style quite nicely), and finally created the workout master plan – no six pack can be achieved without a good dose of hard workout.
So, the two primary activities are:
– Shed all the fat
– Let the flabby belly muscles get some work out to bring out the hard and toned look

I had a treadmill at home but I reckoned that wasn’t going to be enough to reach my target. I had rarely paid any fees for Gym membership since I paid for one for three months in advance several years ago (the truth – before marriage as I was desperately trying to shed some of the useless extra pounds that I packed on – thanks to my room mate in Oakland University who made delicious fried pitas – called Porata - and finger licking potato fries) and ended up visiting the facility only two times, the grand total. This time my determination was much higher, had a company to visit the Gym in the form of J (my friend who lived in the same neighborhood – in case you did not read some of the past blogs) and also had the eagerness to impress Zakeem and Farheen (my young son and daughter) both of whom had been immensely interested in the lines that would soon pop up in my soft, semi-round, food craving tummy.

The winter would stay from November to end of April – total six months, hence I purchased a membership for six months. There seemed to be several variations of the membership – I went for the Gym, swim, ice skating (not in this life – but it came free) and squash. I remember Jahangir Khan of Pakistan who was the undisputed champion of Squash when I was younger and knew it was played in a confined place, but nothing more. J was no exception. He had bought couple of rackets hoping someday they would come handy. With my entrance to the stardom (membership) the opportunity to try those slightly narrower and smaller rackets became very bright. My return to the Gym world started with a game of Squash (same facility). We chased around the ball for a while until our legs won’t move anymore. The game looked much easier on TV when the world champs were playing. But it did give us a good workout. As we became reasonably better at it over the next few months we both agreed that it was a great way to burn some good calories. Often we played for couple of hours. Both of us were trying hard to get rid of the extra weight and turn our forty plus bodies into youth like lean. With such determination in mind time flew by during grueling work outs and long squash games.

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