Monthly Archives: June 2012

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The Days Are Flying By

The past week and a half or so has been a true whirlwind. 

My parents and I drove up to Chicago last weekend for my sister’s graduation ceremonies.  All I can say is that I am SO proud of my little sister!  She has accomplished so much in the past 21 years, and I can’t wait to watch her continue to flourish!

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Aeks NU Graduation 021

Not only did we attend two different graduation ceremonies (the university and her college), but we also moved all of her stuff home.  Boy, that was quite the task!  I wish I had a picture of our packed van to show y’all.  She’s such a pack rat!!!

It was so fun hanging out with Aekta’s friends and being a part of their final weekend in Evanston. Every time I hang out with them, I feel like I’m back in college.  Oh the memories!

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Aeks NU Graduation 053

Other than the drive to and from Chicago, I’ve been busy at home just prepping for next weekend.  I’m sure most of you are wondering what the heck we do all day, but trust me when I say that we do so much that I sleep through the night every night.  And that’s saying a lot for me! 

I’ve also been working on a little project for the reception.  It required getting a hold of my parents’ wedding pictures, some of which have never been seen by my parents.  My uncle sent me all of the negatives he had at his house, and I got the pictures transferred to a CD at Costco. My grandparents and parents had a blast looking at them and reminiscing!

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My mom and aunts on their wedding day

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My dad and uncles

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The beautiful couple!

Honestly, every day flies by faster than the one before.  It’s kind of crazy that a week from now my mehndhi will be happening!  I can’t wait to see all of my friends and family!  One week and counting [until the first event]…ahhhhh! Smile

How’s life?!  What’s been keeping you busy?

Living a Truly Active Lifestyle

Prior to coming home a few weeks ago, my definition of an active lifestyle was a bit different then it is now.  I used to think that working out for 45-60 minutes a day, most days of the week, made my lifestyle an active one.  Well, a few things have dawned on me over the past few weeks, but first a little background.

For the past two years, I lived alone.  That meant that when I came home, I would cook dinner, eat, and sit and watch TV for a bit before going to sleep.   My morning workouts were pretty much the only “active” part of my day.  I honestly didn’t think much of it, so this way of life continued until I quit my job and came home for a bit before the wedding.

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This was pretty much me after 6 pm

Obviously, my new routine at home is drastically different from what it was when I was working. Instead of sitting at a computer for eight hours, I’m out and about doing things, continuously moving.  Now, I know that most of us (including me after July 9th) don’t have the option to stay at home and be active, but by being able to live differently over the past few weeks, I personally believe that I need to be more active outside of my regular workouts, even at work.  And trust me, I know what’s like to have no energy and feel absolutely drained after working for eight to ten hours, but it’s important!  If you don’t believe me, read this article from Men’s Health.

I want to live a truly active lifestyle.  And so far, I’ve brainstormed the following random ways to do so…

- Wake up and stretch for a few minutes, maybe even walk in place
- Park far away from the entrance of any building (work, grocery store, mall, etc.)
- Take the stairs whenever possible
- Do planks while watching TV
- Play music while cooking dinner and dance (I’m going to make Vishnu do this with me!)
- Walk around when talking on the phone instead of sitting
- Find the restroom farthest from my office and use it instead of a closer one
- Get up from my desk every 30 minutes to stretch and walk in place

A big fear of mine was that I would gain weight when I came home.  My workouts are less hardcore than they were before, and I eat my mom’s food most days of the week.  So you can imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale for the first time in over a month to discover that I actually lost a couple of pounds.  I really do think that I haven’t gained any weight simply because I’m moving a lot more – I randomly dance around the house, I help my parents in the backyard, I clean the kitchen every night after dinner (wipe down the counters, sweep the floors, and wash the dishes), etc.  Whereas before, I would make a beeline for the couch after work and pretty much stay there most of the night.

Every little bit of movement counts, and in the long run, it probably counts more than the 45-60 minutes a day that I dedicate specifically to my workouts. 

Do you live an active lifestyle?  What are some ways you sneak movement into your day?

Legally Official!

Blogging has been put on the back burner for now, but that’s ok because my main goal is to spend as much time with my family as I can.  We are less than three weeks from all the wedding fun, and I just want to soak in every moment!

Speaking of wedding, Vishnu and I got legally married last week!

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Because I am changing my name (changed my name?), my new company needs some specific documentation before I start work on July 9th, so we went ahead and did the court marriage a bit earlier then planned to make things legally official.

Honestly, it doesn’t feel much different.  We still consider our religious ceremony to be what will officially make us husband and wife.  After that, it will be the real deal (at least in my mind)!

In other news, my grandparents are here!  YAY!  I feel so lucky to be able to spend some quality time with them before the wedding. Smile

Other than that, life is pretty much the same old – wake up, workout, eat, send emails, run errands, come home, eat, hang out, eat, sleep.  Something like that anyway!  I think the next couple of weeks will be a bit more hectic, as there are a lot of last minute things that need to be done.

AHHHH!!!  I’m so excited I just can’t hide it!

It’s Getting Real!

23 days until my mehndhi party and first wedding event!  It’s getting real over here!

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LOVE THIS!

My family is in full wedding mode as we prepare little by little each and every day.  For example, last week, Vishnu and I met with the decorator to finalize all of our ideas and selections.  I also met with the event coordinator at the hotel to finalize some details.  My parents and I cleaned and organized the entire house this weekend.  One of the bedrooms is now a storage room for all things related to the wedding (decorations for the house, gifts for our guests, paper products, etc.)

And it’s more of the same this week…

Today, Vishnu and I are doing our final food tasting with the caterer.  We are also going to meet with the DJ to talk through…what else…some details about the music at each event.  Later this week, we are also meeting with our videographer for a special project.  But mum’s the word on that since it’s a surprise for our guests.

Besides meeting with our vendors, I’ve also been working on a detailed wedding weekend agenda that includes the who, what, when, where and how for every event/ceremony/detail.  This is mainly for my bridesmaids plus a few immediate family members and friends.  I’ve been told that when my first event begins, I have to relinquish control.  If you read my blog regularly, you know that I’m not very good at that.  However, I’ve promised myself that after a certain point, my job will be to relax and have fun no matter what.  So that’s why I’m creating a very detailed agenda! Smile

My mom and I also planned out a 10 day menu for the days leading up to the wedding.  Because a number of family members are flying in early to help us out (my grandparents fly in this Friday!!!), we want to prepare and plan as much as we can now.  In a few short weeks, this semi-quiet house of ours is going to be filled with people and pretty chaotic!

This (all of the above plus some) is pretty much my life right now.  With each passing day, I get more and more excited!  It’s hard to believe that in a few days it’ll be a year since Vishnu popped the big question.  Time flies!

I hope to write a few more of these posts in the coming weeks, detailing more of what’s going on.  As y’all know, Indian weddings usually span the course of a few days, and honestly, a lot of the details are ironed out a month before the big day (basically, what we’re doing right now). I want to be sure to document as much of these next 23 days as possible, so that a year from now, I can read about and relive all of this excitement!

Oh and I have a surprise post coming up later this week…be on the lookout! Winking smile

 

Aishwariya Rai’s Weight Gain “Controversy”

aishwarya_rai_02Even if you’re not a Bollywood fanatic, chances are you’ve heard of Aishwariya Rai. She’s a former Miss World title holder, she’s been cited as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” and she’s appeared in a number of Bollywood blockbusters.  Aishwariya gained even more celebrity when she married into the Bachchan family.  Her father in-law, Amitabh Bachchan, is probably the most famous Bollywood actor…ever. 

Her newest role is being a mother to a six month old baby girl.  And here’s where the controversy (or so called controversy) comes into play.  The Indian media has been passing a lot of judgment her way because – gasp – she’s in no rush to lose the baby weight!   Many claim she’s letting herself go, and that this is just not acceptable.  She’s an idol in the eyes of young girls, and she needs to set the right example.  Umm, what!?

Based on some of the comments that have been made, you would think she committed treason or something.  People don’t understand how she’s not in top shape after six months of giving birth.  Supposedly, she owes it to the people of the world to lose all of her pregnancy weight in record time.

Honestly, I was surprised to read that she didn’t hire a personal trainer right away.  It seems that celebrity moms (from all parts of the world) are in a rush to lose the baby weight plus some and are able to do so easily.  It’s hard to believe that someone with the means to do so chooses to take her time with the process. 

After thinking about this for a few days, I’m actually happy that she’s doing what makes her and her body happy, as she’s the only one who knows what it needs.  If it doesn’t bother her, why is it making so many people angry?

Maybe it’s because of cultural norms, maybe it’s because she chooses not to do something even though she can, or maybe it’s because people aren’t ready to accept that Ms. Rai has gained some weight.  In any case, I think these people are sick.

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The sad part is that all women, celebrity or not, go through this.  Personally, I’ve seen close friends and family members work their asses off to lose pregnancy weight because that is now the norm.  One could even call it a competition.  The women I know literally felt pressured to shrink back to their previous sizes as quickly as possible.  I’ve never been pregnant, so I honestly don’t know what it’s like to try to lose that kind of weight, but I imagine it’s hard…really really hard. 

It’s just sad to me that on top of all the internal pressure new mothers face, people pass judgment when the weight doesn’t come off that easily, new mothers feel like ugly whales when the scale doesn’t budge, and society still defines beauty by what’s on the outside.  Sad smile

Something I try to remind myself on a daily basis (because sometimes I fall prey to thinking thin) is that…

“Beauty is not in the face (or the body); beauty is a light in the heart.” – Khalil Gibran

Thoughts on the Aishwariya “controversy?”  Do you think the [global] cultural norm is for woman to be as thin as possible?