Do you spend sleepless nights planning how you are going to start that strict diet and exercise regimen from the next day and then spend the rest of the time dreaming about a thinner you?
Do you look at yourself in the mirror and pull and tug at any flabby part of your body wishing they would just tone down already?
Do you always frown when you go shopping because there are so many clothes that would look good on you if only you were just a little more like the mannequin?
Welcome to my world. And join the group of just about millions others like me.
I consider myself a well-informed logical woman. And yet I look back at my graduation days when I spent three years starving myself and looking sickly as the time when I looked the best. I have a BMI which is well within the healthy range and yet I crave to become skinny and lose the curves that I now flaunt. I go through phases when I am confident that it doesn’t matter how much I weigh as long as I am fit, and then I spend weeks wondering what I am going to say when people tell me I have become fat.
On a side note, what do people expect you to say when they tell you, you have become fat? Do they expect you to become all defensive and make excuses for those sneaky kilos? Or do they expect you to vehemently deny that you’ve put on some, so they can get the satisfaction of “getting to you”? What purpose does it serve really? If you already know you are gaining weight, having someone point it out to you doesn’t really help. And if you are in blissful ignorance and belong to that rare species who are happy with the way they are, the last thing you need is someone to come and ruin it for you. I have never been able to find the perfect response to that anyway. Friends telling me I have “swollen up” after marriage, and asking me if I have been eating too much. Acquaintances I have met just twice before, who tell me I have put on since the last time they saw me. I am yet to find out the perfect words to tell them, “I really don’t give a hoot” at that very instant without sounding impertinent. And I am yet to find a cure for all the brooding that follows after.
Coming back to the whole “fat” thing. Most of you must have heard by now about JK Rowling’s rant on how women these days consider being fat the worst thing that can be. Even though the original link has been removed, here’s pretty much all there is to it. One sentence specially stands out: “I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? “. I swear I took comfort from this post for a whole week. Told myself that I *am* a hundred other things before “fat”. Thanked my stars I am a healthy confident woman. Assured myself that the way I look doesn’t define the person I am even in the least. And believed in the fact that I love myself no matter what size I am.
The week right after that I marveled at the fact that I still wear size S clothes, and after a shopping binge in the land of the thin, buying clothes off mannequins, all I knew was I loved my body for not letting me down in front of skeptical salesgirls unwilling to let me try clothes they thought I was too big for.
Until it all came crashing down when I checked my weight for the first time after my wedding, and saw those extra kilos right there on that ruthless scale, and I spent a whole agonizing day searching frantically for crash diets that will at least get me where I was before the wedding.
It is quite the madhouse inside my head, I tell you.
You know what makes it worse? The fact that I have no illusions that starving is a healthy way of life and being skinny is the best thing that can be. And despite knowing all of this, I still strive for that perfect body. As though reaching that magic number will give my life the happily ever after with nothing else to worry about.
For now though, writing about this helps. And so does the chilled orange juice that’s all I am having for breakfast. Even though for all I know later this evening I could be digging into slices of pizza and telling myself that if I lived my entire life denying myself of desserts and chocolates and all things that taste ridiculously good, I will have lived a half life. Only to second guess the next moment if really nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels.