Envision a seesaw with self fulfillement on one side and expectations on the other and I'm standing in the middle with my dog and a doughnut. That's right.

Hump Day Update

I’ve got three days left to eat whatever I want before I start my WorkHardPlayHard 4 Week Kickstart Program. My loving sister and best friend are joining forces with me to take on the world of fitness, swimsuit season and sexiness. Booya. 

But here’s the problem. I don’t feel like eating crap! What’s that about? Ugh I’m hoping it’s not one of those things that happens when you “grow up”. 

Anyways - come Sunday, I will be on a journey to shed this winter coat of mine in order to get swimsuit ready. Granted… I have no plans to get in a swimsuit and go anywhere anytime soon, in reality, this is just to get things back under control. 

I shall be posting progress pictures, complaints and asking for suggestions, so please please please pay attention to me. Just kidding. Well, only kind of.

In other news - it’s national pet adoption day, which is awesome. We adopted Gus back in January and I am happy to say I think it’s one of the best decisions Josha and I made. While he does take up a chunk of our time and requires attention and care taking, there is nothing better than snuggling up with him to marathon watch Pretty Little Liars. 

BTW - Wtf is going on with PLL? And why do they think it’s acceptable to not come back until June 10th? RIGHT?! Fail. 

#HappyHumpDay Y’all

#TGIM - Thank God It’s Monday

I came across a great post this morning whilst perusing LinkedIn at work today. It’s all about changing our attitude towards work. I think it resonated with me for three reasons.

1. Because it’s Monday

2. Because one of my pet peeves is people who whine without trying to make it better and I need to realize people bond over complaining

3. And lastly - because I need to change my attitude too…

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It’s That Time Again…

So we all know I’m goal oriented and appreciate a good physical challenge - running marathons, bodybuilding competitions, etc. But I think it’s time to find a lifestyle where I can maintain the physical level I’ve reached. Post competition resulted in a more muscular, happier and more confident Niven. Now it’s time to maintain that without the insane cycle of “bulking” vs. “prep” and all that it entails. While I love the results and hard fast schedule and training, I can’t do it forever. 

So I’m going to take the plunge and pubically announce my new goal. I’m taking on the primal lifestyle. Thanks to family and friends who range from paleo to vegetarian to gluten free, I’ve been able to observe what things I think I could adopt successfully and what things would make me miserable. I also learned a lot about myself when I was prepping for the competition last season. The following list are things I need, want or aren’t willing to give up. They are also things I learned that I can or can’t handle.

Niven’s 10 Must Have’s

1. I like fat and crunch. 

2. I really like eggs

3. Prepping big meals is REALLY helpful to sustainable healthy eating for me.

4. I LOVE sweet potatoes in any form

5. I can’t eat tomatoes or potatoes due to allergies

6. I learned that processed carbs and I aren’t friends (via competition prep)

7. I need and want coffee in my life.

8. I need and want chooclate/desserts in my life.

9. I enjoy exercising and need to do it to avoid getting sick/having flare ups

10. I don’t want to feel limited or that I’ve giving things up.

11. (Because I’m an Indian Over Achiever) I want to be able to go out and not be the person with the “super picky food restrictions”.

As a result of this list and thanks to google, I came across the ever so popular concept of “going primal” and started reading Primal Blueprint and checking out their resources


I’ll keep you posted on how well it’s going. For the most part, I’ve gotten rid of non-primal approved foods, but I have experienced mental confusion of full fat half and half vs. fat free. Or butter vs. PAM. It’s pretty  much a mind-f^&k.


I Like Her.

This blog has been a space for the last year or two where I’ve shared thoughts, dreams, goals, interests and random thoughts. At first, I was irritated I couldn’t really stay tuned to one subject. I was focused on different interests when I was in grad school versus those of past few months. And again, I’m off onto other things. I tried to tether myself to one theme multiple times. Heck I even changed the name, the layout and color schemes to want to stay tied to it. 

But then I realized having varied interests is not a bad thing. Repeat: NOT a bad thing. It took a while, but I came to this conclusion when I had a chat over coffee with my mom about the following statement: What do you like about yourself? This conversation was prompted by one I had with my brother on a recent trip to India. When he asked, I said “I have no idea. What do you like about yourself?” And he had a solid list of reasons why he’s pretty awesome. I wanted to be like that. Like him. So I took a turn for introspection and liked what I saw.

I like that I have interesting things to say. I like that I can connect with a multitude of people on a variety of topics. I like that I am a classically trained south Indian dancer and a bodybuilder. I like that I write and enjoy conversations on philosophy as much as I love laying on the couch all day marathon watching TV. I LIKE that about myself.

I also like that I’ve had hundreds of different experiences, many of which are completely outside my comfort zone. I like that I’ve traveled around the world, and will continue to do so. I like that I feel just as confident being alone in a foreign city as I do in my home town surrounded by people I love. I like that I read - a variety of genres and subjects at that. 

I like that I am a giving person. I like taking care of people and making them feel good and comfortable. I like that I am so close with my friends and family. And while I may hate it in the moment, I like that I fall in love hard and fast and give my entire self. I like that I’ve learned from every person I’ve met. I like that I can be vulnerable sometimes, and in-you-face confident other times. 

I like those things about myself, and more. Sometimes I forget that I’m a good person and pretty awesome. This is not a post about bragging or egoism, but a simple post about self-love, introspection and remembering that you have to like and love yourself. 

What do you like about yourself?

Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

You can make more friends in two months by being interested in other people than you can in two years of trying to get others interested in yourself. By How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive By Thich Nhat Hanh