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Lesson #7 – You Will Get Fat

If you are like most brides the world over, you were not just worried about picking the right wedding dress but also worried about how to look good in that dress.  You did extra crunches, extra lunges, hired a trainer, worked out harder and ate a whole lot less in the months leading up to your big day.  You knew all eyes were going to be on you and you wanted those Aunties and ex-boyfriends to eat their hearts out at just how good you looked. 

And damn, you did look good! 

Then it happens.  The wedding is over, you are happier than ever, and there is cake.  A big huge delicious wedding cake with carefully considered flavors, fillings and designs waiting there to be enjoyed by you, your handsome groom and all of your guests.  If you are lucky, some of that cake was left over and made its way home with you.

Once the wedding is over, the stress of planning, arranging, and beautifying yourself is also a thing of the past and you can just sit back and relax…with cake, cupcakes, pizza, sodas, candy, chocolate and all sorts of fabulous treats that you were denying yourself as you prepared to look the best version of you on your wedding day.

And so it begins. A nibble here, an extra helping there, some dessert after so many months of no sugar…oh and the carbs!!!  How delicious bread tastes!!! 

In my case, My Leading Man loves to cook so there were lots of cooking nights for us. My mother-in-law was with us for a few months following the wedding and she would cook us the most delicious (and fattening) meals.  And since we were newly married without a care in the world, My Leading Man and I would indulge in all the culinary treats my mother-in-law could whip up. 

And so it began.  The creepage of post wedding pounds.  Within a few months, My Leading Man gained thirty pounds and I gained ten.  The extra pounds probably relate to a lifting of stress, throwing away exercise time in favor of couple time and indulging in good old fashion eating.

It is a story that I hear with so many couples. After the wedding, the post marital pounds start to creep on.  You can try to avoid it but it happens to almost everyone.  Call it comfort, call it happiness, call it whatever, but for some reason newlyweds do start to gain weight.  So to all the newlyweds out there, accept that you will pack on the pounds after the wedding. It is something that happens even to the best of us, with the best of intentions.  Now the question is, what do you do about it? 

After you indulged in your post-wedding-eat fest, it is time to get you and your Leading Man back on track.  You don’t have to be quite as strict as those pre-wedding months but have a plan in place to correct course, make it fun and try to do it together.  It may not happen overnight but being healthy has to be a way of life for most of us, especially after those post-wedding indulgences.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Hiatus

After a long work-induced hiatus, The New Indian Wife is back!  I can give you oodles of reasons for why the lapse between posts.  Mostly I blame work which has been all-consuming and overwhelming the last few months.  I have been on the road, in the skies and in hotel rooms working all hours of the day trying to advance my career. My laptop has literally been tethered to my wrists. The pendulum swung so far towards work that there was little time left for everything else.  No time for My Leading Man, no time for my family, no time for my writing and most upsettingly no time for my health and well-being.  I left behind all the things I love the most and focused far too much on something that shouldn’t matter as much as it has over the last few months.  I want my life back!  I want to spend time with My Leading Man, I want to focus on being a good daughter, spend more time on the phone with my mother in  law, I want to go to yoga regularly, focus on meditating and most importantly I want to get back to my writing.  In the weeks and months leading up to my wedding I released all my pre-wedding stress by blogging all about the pre-wedding happenings.  I have felt a true and profound loss without the blog the last few months.  So what am I going to do about it?  Well, step one is to make some changes.  I need to peel myself away from work, where the politics, stress and client demands have been all-consuming.  That won’t happen overnight but one of the ways to remove my work shackles is to not open my laptop when I get home from work and not working on the weekends.  I am going to make a conscious effort to reintroduce time for all the things that should matter most to me and need to be tended to each and every day– my marriage, my health, my family and of course, my writing.  So while I may not write everyday, my fabulous readers can rest assured that I will be back writing about my experiences as The New Indian Wife. So let’s keep this blog moving, shall we?

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Advice From MILji – Ditch the Stress

Like many of my fellow Americas, I am pretty stressed out. I can blame all sorts of things in my life from tough bosses, tough clients, financial pressures, family, friends, etc.  Generally, I think I am just wired towards being more stressed than others. My MILji agrees.  In a conversation earlier this week she said “Your personality is the kind that will always take on stress.”  I sighed because I knew she was right.  

She continued that there is no point in being stressed out.  “You have to find the joy in little things and allow those little joys to take your stress away.”  She then told me a story about her garden.  My inlaws love their garden.  My father in law’s section is loaded with vegetables that he cares for like they were his own children.  My Milji’s section is filled with beautiful carnations, marigolds and roses.  This year, when my father in law asked what she wants for her birthday, she quipped “an extra foot of space in the garden.” That’s how much they love their garden.

She goes out into her garden everyday. If she wanted to she could just glance at the garden and think that it is looking pretty, green and lush today.  But if she really wants to feel the joy of her garden she will take a walk through her flowers and admire each and everyone.  “Just look how unique each petal is.  How perfect it is. How amazing it is that God created such beauty” she said to me on the phone.  “Just looking at the uniqueness of each and every flower takes all my stress away” she continued with so much joy in her voice.  She said that I need to spend more time looking at each little part of my life and the joy each of those little pieces has given me. 

Simply put. I must take time to smell the roses.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Lesson #6 Sometimes It’s Okay to Give Up

I want to be right.  All of the time.  Not some of the time. Not a majority of the time.  But all of the time. 

Growing up, I was usually automatically deemed “right” because I was the eldest of my two siblings. Any argument over the remote control – I won. Any dispute on who said what to whom – I won.  Any disagreement on whether it was my turn or my sister’s turn to wash the dishes – I won.  I was always right. At least, that is the way I remember things.  My siblings may have another view on the matter.

Unfortunately, the institute of marriage does not lend itself well to being right all of the time.  There is a whole other human being with a whole other set of views on life (see Lesson #5).  There will be disagreements and sometimes that Leading Man of yours will not just want to be right but he may actually be right.

In some ways, I admire those women who defer to their husbands and let them take the lead.  It might be easier that way.  But for those of you who are anything like me, defering to others is the equivalent of having your teeth pulled.  I just really, really, really want things to go the way I want them to go and I just really, really, really prefer to be right.

But slowly and surely I am learning it is okay to not be right all of the time.  It is okay to give up and defer to the other person, especially when the other person is right.  Not that I am saying he is always right but he is right some of the time and I am learning (albeit pretty darn slowly) that I don’t always have to hold my ground, I don’t have to always be right.  Sometimes, it’s okay to be w-r-o-n-g or as I prefer to call it, just not right.  Sometimes.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Lesson #5 Just Because My Family Did It That Way, Doesn’t Make It Right

We are all creatures of our environment.  Our model of marriage, as with family life, is largely based on our own experiences living, fighting, learning and laughing with our parents and our siblings.  Your frame of reference for a marriage is most influenced by your parents with some occasional inputs from Cliff and Clair Huxtable from the Cosby Show.  The frame of reference that you do not have walking into a marriage is the context within which your spouse grew up.  While you may have spent time with your mummy and papa in law before marriage, the curtains only come up AFTER you are married (more on the inlaws in a future posts – and yes there will be more than one on that all important topic so stay tuned!!)

Everyone puts their best foot forward before marriage, as they should.  But the full picture of the environment, the interaction and the belief system of your spouse’s family will likely not be revealed to you completely until after marriage.

That’s when you may have a realization, like I did, that other families do things differently than we did. Now conceptually, I understood this before marriage as well.  I knew my gora friends did not eat aloo paranthas on Sunday.  I knew that they didn’t drink masala chai in the morning and adrik wali chai in the evening. I knew that they wore baseball caps and not turbans.  Even within Indian families, I understood that some families liked extra thardka in their daal and some kept the plastic on the furniture while others did not.

But that didn’t stop me from believing that my way of thinking was the right way of thinking. Not just because I thought that way but because my family also tended to think the same way so that meant it was clearly the right way.    

I quickly learned that My Leading Man had a different approach to spending, family relations, decorating, dinner parties, vacations and just about everything else than I did.  His approaches were largely based on his experiences living with his family, watching his parent’s marriage and watching the marriages of his sisters.  This did not mean his way was wrong (which I would have preferred his ways to be) but just that they were different from mine.

Over time, I came to understand that just because I grew up doing something one way did not mean everyone did it the same way. I had to learn to understand My Leading Man’s varying view points from the context of his life experiences.  And I had to learn to truly discuss and understand his perspectives before coming to a decision together as a couple about the best path forward. 

So next time you push your belief system on your spouse, try to understand how they feel about the topic at hand and the frame of reference from which they are saying it.  You never know what you might learn from the other person (or preferably, what you may be able to teach them).

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Advice From MILji – Make Housework a Hobby

Skydiving, reading, yoga, running marathons, cooking, sewing, painting, rock climbing, gaming These all seem like hobbies.  Housework does not.  So when MIlji said to make housework my hobby I laughed out loud.  “How can housework be a hobby” I asked.  What she explained made perfect sense.  She said instead of resenting your housework and getting angry that there are dishes in the sink, that the floors need scrubbing or clothes need to be folded and put away, take a deep breath and say keeping a clean home is my hobby.  It is not a requirement for a home to be clean and tidy. Just like it is not a requirement to go on a hike on Sunday mornings. Rather keeping a clean home, just like going for a hike, is simply one’s preference on how they choose to live.  So when you start to dig into your housework, when the tasks seem overwhelming or undesirable, just say to yourself “this is my hobby”.  Since I incorporated these pearls of wisdom my entire approach to housework has changed I am a much happier homemaker than ever before.  Thanks MILji.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Advice From MILji

Today I introduce a new feature on The New Indian Wife that I call “Advice From MILji”  That is, Advice From Mother-In-Law-ji

My Mother-in-Law is bubbly, high-spirited lady who embodies a world of wisdom in her 4 foot 11 frame from raising six children and being married for over 50 years. Despite her age, and ailing health her face radiates a youthful exuberance. “I feel as young as ever on the inside. I just look old on the outside” my Mother-in-Law often quips in Punjabi.  Her youthful spirit is perfectly complemented by the fine lines from her years and experiences.

While my Mother-in-Law lives in India, we do speak at least twice a week.  Our conversations vary from short and quick check ins to deeper spiritual chats about life, relationships and the perspective all of us need to face life’s many challenges.  Her advice to me at numerous points throughout our young marriage has made a world of difference.  She brings perspective, humour and love to all those happenings in a marriage that seem all to difficult to navigate when you are in the thick of them. 

I hope Advice From MILji will resonate with each of you as much as it does wiith me.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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