Lose weight to gain what?


Editor’s articles on Times Of India

Veena, my friend, expressed her excitement about the upcoming vacation and the accompanying stress points related to it. The narrative is in first-person, to facilitate effective communication.

It’s that time of the year again. Vacations, vacations …only a couple of months to go and then- yippee! Vacation means, a  break from the daily routine – getting up early to pack the kids to school -and a chance to go on a trip to one’s beloved homeland. Now, wait a minute, doesn’t that mean a family reunion is just around the corner? Now, where have I tucked in that svelte figure, hidden from sight, creaking under the weight of loads of flab? Each passing year adds new dimensions to life and a few pounds of good living to the waistline. Gorgeous attires, a testimony of our shapely past sit ideally, waiting for their turn to step out of the wardrobe, for the right size to squeeze into them. With all this in mind, I chalked out yet another resolution-come what may, I will shed a decade load off my conscience and the scale. Two weeks is a reasonable time to go on that full vegan diet I had read somewhere. It won’t be that tough to gobble up a few fruits or flush in some vegetable juice to my clogged system. Oh! Sucks, what about that invitation to ladies breakfast today? Any odor of dieting will invariably set those lovely yet predictably wicked minds and tongue ticking-“She diets and yet when will we see the results? She’ll diet and finish half of the caramel pudding on the table!” No, I decided it’s safe to postpone my regime by a day at least. Well in any case, there is no point warding off the temptations of Sakeena’s divine biryani, and then finishing off the packet send for the kids at home later.

The women were gathered together already, their boisterous mood threatening a caving effect on the ceiling. A plump friend sat a little apologetically in a corner. She seemed visibly uncomfortable while three other friends, quite trim at least by my standard, discussed the touchy topic -weight. My plump friend had naively triggered her own discomfiture. She had complimented, let us say Miss slim No: 1 on her visible weight loss from the no crabs-diet, adopted. Now which woman (in this case Miss slim No: 2) can digest a compliment made to another in her presence, especially when a solid hour or two has been invested towards garnering envious eyes. Adorned in sparkling diamond-studded necklace, ring, gorgeous outfits, from Zara, and coordinated nude sandals, a girl should be spinning the world on her fingers. Here was a plump lady complimenting a rival. The only way to create a ripple now was to tarnish the rivals moment of glory. Unflinchingly, Miss 2 blunted out, “Yeah darling, you have lost some weight, but waist down, you are going bonkers. Sweetie, you should also take care of your face, your cheek seems so sunken and haggard.”

I checked my silly tongue from explaining that they were all slim but have different body types- Mesomorph, ectomorph and endomorph. My momentary sanity spared me from the resultant onslaught that was to follow, and most of all a paradigm shift towards me. No matter how much weight or how little a woman loses- it’s never enough. Take Kareena Kapoor for instance. First, the lady was considered an ethereal beauty no doubt, but quite visibly from a family who loved to eat. Now a size zero, the poor woman is bombarded with quotes like, Kareena’s career is as big as her size “zero”. She is invisible, so no one casts her in their film. The aim of weight loss is to boost self-confidence and look good, but conversely a confident personality outshines all in his/her radiance, no matter the size. Now my resolve is to be confident at all times, to maintain a healthy life style and weight. When I accept myself and I am happy in my skin, any attire will radiate my inner joy. Jennifer Lopez lost some weight and a little bit of her husband’s affection (he liked her curvy). Nowm Kareena too has ditched her size zero figure for a fuller, more Indian and healthier (read happier as she can indulge occasionally) figure and Vidya Balan with herself plus 12 kgs won herself stupendous accolades. Oprah has long battled with her weight but has always been the reigning queen of millions of fans. I love you, Oprah! Adieu my pre-pregnancy silhouette.


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