Have you ever met or known someone who seem to eat all the time, and eat the most unhealthy stuff like roadside food, any and every junk available in the house, chocolates and candies, tubs of gelato and NEVER EVER SEEM TO PUT ON WEIGHT?

From experience you might be able to relate, and I know what you might be thinking, it’s so, so irritating and unfair! Fortunately for me, that’s me… I’m the girl who always ate unhealthy and never exercised and never got fat! (Yes, even when I was pregnant I put on 13 kgs extra and a month after the delivery, had lost 14kgs).  For all those I got envious looks, I forced them to understand that I have “slim thoughts” and, unlike them, don’t think about calories,  hence do not put weight on!

So, you might understand why I never bothered to exercise. Inspite of living with two people who are awake by 5:00AM and go about their routines of regular walks and yoga and workouts and runs – I decided to sleep through till forced to wake up by my son. It’s not like I never had healthy resolutions, but I didn’t last more than a week at such attempts.  Since the regular health check-ups have always resulted in almost 100% clean chits, I decided not to care too much about ‘health’.

I must tell you how difficult it is to not focus on ‘health’ especially if you happen to live where I do – it’s a city filled with various clubs for running, cycling and organic food options.  And most importantly, my apartment building is filled with marathon runners and regular gym goers.  I am hoping you understand, I had to make special effort to not get influenced by the health brigade in and around my home.

Imagine my disappointment when my doctor said that physical activity was one key factor in battling depression.  I, not only, had to figure out some sort of physical activity, but also make sure it did not involve any social interaction (I was in the phase where stepping outside my room and even seeing house help was a difficult task). The choices were limited as I could not join any club activity like Zumba or the gym or yoga.  And then, I discovered the joy of running!

I figured out if I ran for around 30 minutes, after dark, it worked perfectly for the combination of physical exercise and almost no social interaction (except bumping into someone in the elevator).  I started using the NHS Couch to 5K Program and the NHS App to run upto 5km and, trust me, the feeling of joy at achieving milestones are unparalleled!

It was like a mini miracle when I realised that my two new habits of meditating and running were actually helping me way more than I knew. The following article talks about how the combination is awesome for winning over depression!  Like I said, I am the luckiest girl I know – I was on the right path to recovery without even knowing it.

NYT article on the magic effect of meditation and running

I must admit, I have found it difficult to continue the running in the summer months here.  Since now I am putting on weight (it’s OK! I’m going to be 40 – I am grateful it didn’t happen earlier!) and the current medical tests results are my worst ever (yes, I apparently have high cholesterol and borderline high sugar and BP and low haemoglobin etc.), I am thinking of giving the whole ‘health focus’ a try.

If you are someone who is or know a dear one who is feeling any kinda blues (you don’t have to be depressed to want to be happy), try meditation and running! It changed my life and I promise it will change yours too.