Weighty Matters

I am fat. Not overweight, not “healthy”, not heavy. Fat.

I know I need to lose weight, because I am a short person and I am at least 30 kilos more than I should be. I am not in denial, nor am I unaware of the risks to my health. I feel the ill effects even now, because I used to be a skinny little thing. Not healthy though, mind you, just skinny. I had all the flexibility of being skinny, but none of the vitality of being fit.

My goal for losing weight is to be fit and healthy. So that I don’t run out of breath on the stairs; so that my feet don’t ache with the tremendous load they heft; so that my back doesn’t ache with the excessive weight of my breasts and stomach. I want to lose weight for all the right reasons, in short.

However, it is tough to shed fat. This is no secret, and the key to it is a good diet and exercise. And I am failing at both.

A good diet is cumbersome. I do eat a lot of vegetables, mostly in the form of salads, but I do eat a lot of carbs too. I mostly avoid sweets, because I don’t really like excessively sweet foods, and sugar gives me a headache. That being said, if I go on a diet, it would put a lot of pressure on my household. My mother is diabetic, and needs to eat at regular intervals (which she doesn’t). Having two separate meal plans for two people is ludicrous, and frankly the prerogative of those who have people to cook for them. For much the same reasons, I cannot eat tiny meals every two hours. Whoever came up with that little gem had a chef and a battery of servants to cater to their whimsical schedule. I don’t. It is my mum and I that cook. And then eat.

Exercise. Oh dear. I do love exercise. I used to swim two kilometres every morning, when I had access to a pool. I enrolled in kathak classes twice in the course of 5 years. I joined a yoga studio when I found a good one. And now, I am enrolled in a gym across the street; but I hardly go. Why?

Because when I swam, danced, or contorted my body, I felt no judgement around me. The other people were focussed on their own form, and the only person who was interested in what I was doing was the teacher or instructor. At my gym, I can see the judgement in everyone’s eyes. “My God, she is fat,” those sidelong looks seem to say. I sometimes want to turn around and remark, “You do realise that I am here, in the very place to lose weight, because I am fat, right?”

Of course, this all may be in my head. But I know people watch. The jiggles and the tyres are unpleasant to see. The sweat beading on an already slick forehead or the rasping breath of a tired body are not pleasurable sensations. I get it.

The thing is, for me to lose weight, I need to exercise. I don’t have options right now, and I am stuck going to the gym to exercise. It is boring and I consume numerous podcasts while trudging wearily on the treadmill.

But I wish I could tell people around me that for me to lose weight, it will take time. My joints are not strong, my muscles are weak, there is too much fat on my skeleton. Moving is an effort, in fact much more an effort for me than for you, oh muscle-bound one. If you can’t admire the effort, at least appreciate that it is harder for me than for you. And honey? Weight loss has to start somewhere. Deal with it.

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