I had completely surrendered myself at the hands of my pedicurist, my feet were singing out in happiness. I was drifting into my dream sequence; I was blissfully enjoying this pampering when I caught my pedicurist peering at my face.
‘Madam, why don’t you try our double chin removal therapy?’
For a teeny weeny moment I thought I hadn’t heard him right. ‘Try what?’ I asked him and that was it.
He started an elaborate sermon on what the process entailed, how much it would cost me and also how effective it had been for all those ‘fat women’ who visited the parlour. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to react. I just uttered a meek yes and couldn’t wait to get done and leave.
I thought the worst was over!
I presumed I had seen and felt the worst but I was wrong. No matter how many times you hear it, being called fat/obese/healthy/XL are tags you would never want to be associated with. What is it about being fat that is so repulsive? The entire way back home all I could think of was all the things I had heard over the years and how at different points in my life they had affected me. I enjoy a good laugh like anybody else but all too often the laugh is on me.
It isn’t a crime being fat, you know.
Yet, there have been days when all I have wanted to do was bury myself deep within the earth and never re-surface. The worst was when my parents decided to start looking for a groom for me. Invariably all dinner table conversations would revolve around the numerous grooms’ mothers who had rejected me because I was fat.
There was also one prospective-grooms mother who wanted to talk me into losing the weight. That is one conversation I will take to the grave. After speaking to me about my work and family and everything else under the sun, she said to me, ‘Why don’t you join some Yoga class or something, after a month take another photograph and send it to my son in Singapore’. I was stunned. I wanted to say so many things, but her age and my upbringing made me keep quiet.
I would probably not have felt this bad if her son was well maintained and fit, he was infact, FAT. Then why these double standards? Why dream of a slim and trim daughter-in-law, when the son isn’t half of all that?
Just when I think the worst has been said there is something new.
Let me narrate an incident here, when in college, two friends of mine and me were waiting for an auto to get to college. After having found one we were off. When we reached our destination and got off and paid him, he said, “Madam, Paanch rupaiya extra”. Why I asked him and his reply put me to such shame that even today that scar won’t heal. He said, “Extra weight ke liye madam – extra baggage”. I paid him that extra cash and almost wished the earth would split wide open and eat me up alive. I have laughed this off with friends over coffee, but the scar it had left deep within will never fully heal.
I am now at a stage where I want to change this, I want to shed the extra weight, and I want to feel light and good about myself.
This will be my journey and I am hoping that you walk with me and pull me up when I stumble and fall.
These articles I pen will be about my journey from being terribly unfit to hopefully, being fit.
Notice I use the terms unfit and fit as opposed to fat and slim.
The aim here is to lead a healthy life and not aspire to be a size zero.
This will mean making drastic lifestyle changes; no more eating unhealthy, no more stress eating, no more lounging around with zero physical activity.
Am I ready for the challenge? I sure am.