DI - E(a)TING
I have just managed to make myself jobless literally and otherwise. The initial few days were blissful. Co-incidentally my watch gave way at around the same time and that was the last I saw of it. I first lost track of the time of day and soon of the day itself. My weeks ceased to have any special sufferings like Monday blues or midweek crisis. Believe me just rip your work schedule from your timetable and u will realise Mondays can be as harmless as Sundays!! From a bumpy auto ride my life soon became as eventless and monotonous as doordarshan!!
Who said ‘nothing’ is impossible?? I did nothing for days and let dust collect in my house and blubber in my brains. Till one day in an attempt to dig out some books to read I was compelled to do some dusting. In the heap of things I found a measuring tape. Instinctively(u have to be a woman to know I am not lying) I unrolled it and put it around my waist (read ‘my waste’ coz it was purely the accumulation of my wasting days) and Voila!!! There was the BIG BANG!! I was struck by a meteor of realization .Yes I have PUT ON!!! My waist size was scarily approaching the oh so coveted ummm … hip size!!!! I realized if I don’t treat the matter with utter urgency my waist and hip size will merge and then the only shape that will faithfully describe me would be a rectangle and other undefined distorted versions of it!!!! Goes without saying that, that moment was the end of all the peace and quiet in my house, mind, body and soul.
The next few days saw me, well not exercising, but digging the internet for solutions to weight woes. Of course I started with looking for quick fixes and found a pattern.
Type I: Biggest promises and of course least effective. (most lucrative for couch potatoes like me)
“Wake up to a new you!”(basically such ones tell u to just stop eating till you die. I bet when u wake up arguably in heaven u will discover the new self which is blissful, formless and oops shapeless too!!) “Say bye bye to that flab in 3 days!!” “No exercise, no diet , just try it ” “get those dream abs without twitching a muscle”(ok , now I agree I made the last one up but c’mon that’s nearly what they imply and I secretly wish they were true too :p). During this phase all those otherwise invisible advertisements on the rear of buses and autos “to lose weight – call 991234567” became oh so stark. I would at unguarded moments itch to call just for probing sake but then something in me would thankfully tell me “dunno about the weight u will definitely lose some cool cash”.
Type II: Fad diets / Crash diets or just call it trash diet.
People turn to this only when they have an impending wedding plan or think they are so big they can be spotted by aliens!! Not everyone can do this. Such diet are only for the ‘driven’( towards masochism). They recommend u have some kind of trash (sorry I could not qualify them for food with that level of palatability) Even if your ‘hunger center’ doesn’t, your ‘satiety centre’, which has cross-talks with your olfactory neurons and gustatory neurons will revolt and inhibit the former to prevent further intake of that ‘food’. The worst of them is perhaps the ‘tapeworm diet’! Wonder how some desperate women could have skimmed past the words “parasite” “worm” “severe health hazard” and fixated on “causes severe weight loss”!!
The theory: the tapeworms are digesting your food, not you. So you can eat as much as you want and this will go into the worm's tummy, not yours. The tapeworm will get fat and become an outcast in tapeworm society, but that would be its problem, not yours. I am sure they must have seemed a good workout buddy as you try to lose weight, but after a month, they are using your toothbrush, drinking your milk out of the carton, and following you around on dates saying how nice it would be to wear your skin!! Uurrgh urrgh eeessh!! That was the last I read of this type.
Either way, the lesson is that your body is an evolutionarily adapted traitor that can't be trusted to lose weight for you. So no pain is only gain. Therefore I reluctantly started looking for
Type III: A balanced diet with regular exercise (most labour intensive, hard to achieve and even harder to maintain. Only for the ferociously motivated)
Don’t know why but it seems so right, it is annoying. Thinking of the other repulsive alternatives was the only factor that forced me to visit the painful world of crunches, push ups and sit ups. Counts of 10 workouts almost invariably found me cheating on the last few counts. Every muscle fibre of my body so long used to the peaceful inertia of rest rose in rebellion, hitherto unknown tendons made their presence felt by a streak of subdued pain and every occurring thought screamed out “QUIT”!
That was a week back. I flexed and twisted and turned my muscles almost regularly except for a couple of days in between for which I have very ‘valid’ reasons (read excuses). Well I have read somewhere that being a pretty efficient machine; the human body will shut down to a minimal level of energy consumption when asleep or extremely inactive. Even being awake and reading quietly will burn a fair amount of energy, as brain activity consumes a decent amount of calories
Calorie burn rates for various stationary activities:
• 80 - reading (PG Wodehouse)
• 70 - reading (Ayn Rand )
• 70 - watching TV
• 60 - baseline, comatose, asleep
• 55 - posting comments on the Internet
Wonder why we don’t get to see such encouraging facts more redundantly. So its not that in those two days that I lost in between I did not lose any calories at all. Oh yes one undocumented fact about this schedule is that it hones your defense skills like nothing else can. You will discover your talent of coming up with excuses for missing your regime that you never thought you were capable of!
I however think that this whole craze for a reed thin, anorexic, size zero body is just a fad. It will die a timely death like every other fashion statement does. Like the wheel of civilization they all reach a peak of demand only two give way to a blast from the past. Didnt the bellbottoms from the 70’s resurrect in the late 90’s? Aren’t the pipe pants of the 80’s back in vogue now, albeit in the fancy garb of “dangerously low body huggers”? Thin is in now but someday the thunder thighs and voluptuous curves will be back with a vengeance. Till then the only message I have for all ‘weighed’ down women is
“Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow thou shalt be desirable”!!