I have never really been thin, nor have I ever been what might be considered fat. But I have had a struggle with weight since as far back as I was 16. It’s after my school that I started becoming heavier. I always had a near flat belly and slender waist but the rest of me was increasingly becoming voluptuous to the point that I’d feel that my boobs always went ahead of me to announce my arrival. And I have no idea why I had issues staying slim like my friends and classmates who ate crappy food and hardly worked out. I on the other hand would go for walks with dad everyday, do at least 2oo jumps and our household never really needed a doctor’s intervention to train us on eating healthy. My mum, extremely nutrition conscious that she is, made it a point to not use even an extra drop of oil than is the recommended daily intake for adults. We’d eat a lot of salads, buttermilk, pulses, everything which is good for your health…but I was still unable to reach my dream of being a slender and irresistibly lithe young woman.
It was after I moved to Pune and met EM that I started becoming desperate to look thinner. It was not about being healthy; all I cared about was having a 24 inch waist. EM has always been markedly skinny, in fact I would totally make him participate in the Indian version of Super-size vs. Super-skinny if there was any. I realized that I had started thinking of him as more than just friends when my mind would constantly try to picture us together and I’d feel that we wouldn’t suit each other physically. I know, I know…love should be blind and how you look physically is the least of concerns, especially if you are literally a perfect fit in every other way. But I was only 17 and what wisdom do you expect from a teenager anyway! Plus I have always been obsessed with things like harmony and fitting together. 9 years down the line I realize that this was nothing but an inexperienced mind’s randomness.
The more I started thinking of the probability or rather inevitability of a romantic liaison with EM, the more convinced I became that I needed to lose a few pounds. I thought I owed it to myself. Thus began my first official weight-loss journey. I don’t remember being so determined about anything else, perhaps not even about being with EM.
I would wake up at 6 every morning, diligently go for jogs and do a couple of sprints if possible. I’d come back and do some stretches, several exercise to cinch my waist in, drink water constantly. I’d down litres and litres of water. Making sure that every time I peed, it was as clear as water had become sort of an obsession. I’d have only salads for breakfast. After that I wouldn’t snack and only have lunch and dinner. Nothing I did was even remotely advisable or recommended for a healthy weight loss apart from probably cutting down junk food completely. I’d get up every few minutes from where I was and do a couple more jumps, then again after an hour I’d get up and do a few more crunches, then an hour later side twists. I had become very imaginative and had even invented exercises. The results soon started showing and from a healthy but slightly plump 52 kilos, I went down to 47. This should have satisfied me, but no! The results made me feel powerful and I wanted to explore my power a little further. I kept at my rather insignificant diet and increased the exercise. When what could have been a minor stomach upset due to a spicy chutney I had one day manifested itself as a major bout of vomiting and food poisoning, I realized that my body had reached its limit. No no, I was not smart enough to realize it then. I was rather happy about the timeliness of the food poisoning that helped me slim down further. It was around this time that along with food poisoning and the general feeling of restless which had become a constant for me during my first 4 years with EM, that I reached my all time low of 41 kilos. I was happy but it had started worrying mum and dad. More than weight loss, it was their daughter’s obsession with a sickly skinny body and increasing emotional dependence on a guy (“sheer insult to her upbringing”..courtesy the mother) which was worrying my parents.
Finally, my love for good food took over and I started eating well again. Point to note, I have never been into deep fried oily stuff anyway, although I cannot resist things like panipuri and chaat. But I eat healthy most of the time. anyway, I gained some weight post the all time low and maintained a recommended 45-46 kilos for the next 2-3 years. That’s the ideal weight recommended for me as I’m only 5 ft tall.
I tortured and tested my body during this time, cursing it for not letting go of its fat stores, for not making me happy and such other insensitive thoughts. I broke it down and made it lose the excess weight. When I look back at that period, I wouldn’t completely discard myself. I know now that it was important though not advisable for me to do what I did. It is an important phase in my teenage years. It was probably my way of dealing with the insecurities of suddenly coming to a new city, suddenly falling in love when till that point I was sure that I was above love and didn’t want to tie myself to anyone (aaahh…the immature thoughts of a baby mind that thought it was so mature! ), suddenly realizing that I was hating what I had gone to Pune to do and wanted to study something else instead, suddenly feeling emotionally exposed and vulnerable and still having to pretend to be strong because EM was 5-6 months younger and there was no way he’d get what I felt then with his mind flooded with equally turbulent emotions. In all the turmoil that defines teenage years, even though unhealthy and wrong, I know I wouldn’t have evolved if I hadn’t been a crazy, idiotic, superficial and impulsive little woman who just did what she thought was good for her then.