Weighty Matter

December 12, 2006
This weight thing is something I just don’t get. See, I’m one of those people that are born fat and spend their entire lives trying to change that. For very few, very short periods in my life, I have been what I considered to be slim; slim, mind you, never thin, because in my book, thin is thinner than slim. In any case, it was a rare period that I had the good fortune to consider the matter of thin versus slim with regard to myself. Most of my life, I have been fighting a losing battle with jeans, trousers, sari-blouses, weighing scale, and – in the worst battles – even with shirts and bras and (horror of horrors) nighties.

All said and done, now is the fattest I have ever been. The needle on that wretched, accursed weighing machine never stops on the right side (that is, the left side) of 60. Add to that my age, which is only going in one direction, and the result is anatomical chaos.

There are parts of my anatomy that are frequently in contact with other parts of my anatomy that they have no business being in contact with.

There are parts of my anatomy that used to be visible to me without a mirror, that have suddenly and completely disappeared from my direct line of sight.

There are parts of my anatomy where bone and muscle are completely impossible to find even after the most diligent search; but blubber can be had by the fistful.

There are parts of my anatomy, in fact, that I don’t remember ever having been in existence before.

What I don’t get is why it should matter. I can still play tennis for upward of two hours on any given day. I can still go for a Himalayan trek at 15000 ft and walk upwards of 20 km a day at that altitude – and enjoy it. My annual health check-up shows that my HDL/LDL cholesterols are on very cordial terms with each other; and heart-rate, pulse, and blood pressure are all fine.

So, in short, I’m healthy. I’m fit. Why should it worry me if I wear 32-inch waist jeans instead of 26-inch? Why do I keep waiting to fit into clothes that have become impossibly tight, instead of just going out and buying new clothes?

I don’t know. But, like millions of other women, I worry about my hips, my tummy, my bust, my thighs – and, of course, my hair, not that that has anything to do with anything. I keep trying to diet, and never succeed. I keep stepping on the weighing machine, and get off it hurriedly. I keep promising myself that I’ll be “good” for two months – I’ll avoid all things sinful, specially cakes and ice creams, and I’ll certainly start tomorrow/on the weekend/next week/next month.

But, even though I so very much want to be slim (or even thin), something inside me keeps asking: “Why? Why does it matter?”

I just don’t get it.

The Joys of Exercising

October 19, 2005

Imagine snuggling in bed, curling up with someone under a cozy blanket at 6 o’clock on a slightly chilly, rainy morning. Isn’t it the most wonderful thing in the world?

Now imagine the wretched alarm going off. First at 6, then at 6.15, then at 6.30! I feel like just destroying the miserable thing, the instrument of destruction of warmth, and sleep, and dreams, and love.

And why, pray, should I torment myself by setting the alarm for 6 a.m. in the first place, you may well ask. To get up and go for a morning walk? To give up snoozing and mooching under a blanket for vigorous exercise on a drizzly early morning? Wha..? Do I look stupid to you?

But that’s exactly what this stupid husband of mine has been persuading me to do. Sadist. Masochist. Considering that he’s the one I’m busy curling up with. What an idiot.

And all in the name of good health. Fitness. Weight loss. Humph!

So anyway, for the past few days I have been stumbling groggily around the neighborhood, sleep oozing out of my eyes. I even looked right through my next door neighbor as though she were a dream – and not of the nicest kind, either. I had to go and knock on her door and apologise to her later. I mean, one can’t afford to give offense to one’s default letter box, can one? She collects our post and couriers for us most of the time. Sometimes, when she hands it to us, she has this puzzled expression which Amit interprets to mean, “Why do you buy a flat if you never live in it?”

So anyway, off I go on my morning walk, unwashed, unbrushed, and only half dressed. One day, as I trotted around the park, I found that my socks were misbehaving. Sock, to be precise. It kept slipping under my heel and bunching up between the sole of my foot and the inside of my shoe. This was so irritating that I decided it was a sufficient reason to shorten my customary 40 minute-walk to a mere 20 minutes. Thereafter, I started wearing that sock much more often, until it finally got worn to shreds (it wasn’t in any great shape to start with) and Amit threw it out.

And then, today, he had a new trick up his sleeve. When I came back from my walk, I found him performing various masochistic contortions on the living room carpet, as is his wont (in the name of exercise). I didn’t bother to ask him what on earth he thought he was trying to do, and went about getting myself coffee, breakfast, and a hot shower. Somewhere in the midst of these activities, he appeared in front of me and said that he was trying to touch his head to his knee, which was quite impossible. “Like how,” I asked, falling into the trap promptly.

At once he got me to raise my leg above shoulder level, prop it on a handy piece of furniture, and bend over it till my head touched my knee. This, much to his irritation, I could do without major trouble. Then he got me to sit on the cold floor and try various other impossible positions, most of which I could do with varying degrees of success. Not bad!

At last, I realized that it was all a trick to get me to do some bending and stretching exercises! I don’t know what devious motives lie behind it…

And after all that, the blasted weighing scale doesn’t work properly either. It refuses to budge below 58! Useless machine.

Well, after so much strenuous exertion, I think I deserve a treat. Let me see what delicious item I can find for lunch. In fact, why wait that long, I’m even entitled to a pre-lunch snack. (I’m staying away from cup-cakes though.)

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