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.

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