Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blouses, Blazers and BMI

Dear Rushina,

When I went home this time,I was bombarded right left and centre by unsolicited comments about my weight. The last time I was home, I was 59 kilos. I knew I had put on weight since then but I never really gave it much thought. Probably because the kind people of Mumbai don't accost you on the street to tell you how fat you've become (no euphemisms here). When enough people had come up to give me their appraisal of my form, I began to wonder if there was any truth to their comments. On one cloudy evening, I walked into my parents dressing room. With my mom watching and my sister by my side, I finally took that step I had been avoiding for over a year, on to the weighing machine. I didn't look down, simply waited in dread as my sister waited for the needle to point. 72 kilos she said, as my mom gasped and my heart fell. Suddenly I knew why I had so much trouble zipping up my favourite lace Mango dress (at that time, I had told myself I was in a hurry and zips were difficult things to manage when you were short of time). People were right after all. And silently, I thank God that home was a place where people tell it like it is, whether you liked it or not.
The weighing was followed by a quick meeting convened in my parents bedroom. My sisters huddled together, calculator in hand to calculate my BMI (Body Mass Index)even as my parents counselled me on the virtues of maintaining a healthy weight. (All doctors btw, parents, and sisters). My sisters told me that although I was in the upper limit of acceptable BMI, if I wasn't careful I would become obese. With family history of hypertension and adult onset diabetes, the smart thing to do would be to curb my gluttony and lose some weight.
My mother had. And she's my hero for it. Learning one day that her blood sugar was too high for comfort, my mom changed her lifestyle overnight. Gone were the days of elaborate (and how!!) pork and beef dinners. My parents became near vegetarians (meat only once a day, and that too mostly white meat, an epic sacrifice by any self respecting Naga's standards). They began walking everyday. In two months time, my mom had not only lost weight, her sugar levels were normal. And she's managed to keep it that way ever since.
Since then, I slowly weaned myself from having two meals of pork or red meat. I walked regularly. Returning to Mumbai, I found it easier to control what I ate because there was no readily available red meat on campus. I indulged my love for dal and continued to work out. I am now 69 kilos. My recent trips to Zara have not been as distressing since I can now fit into a medium size comfortably. There is a glorius floral silk blouse that is worth giving up a steak for. As much as I love eating, I have to remind myself how much I love a well constructed blazer as well.
There surely must be a way to be a foodie and fit into your favourite dress. I plan to find it.



Anonymous said...

I totally agree - there has to be a way. I am also a huge foodie but constantly being told that I have gained weight is a great way to slow down at the dining table! :) So maybe regular trips home are the answer :)
Otherwise try my on again - off again thing of no carbs after 7 pm - it works when in conjunction with one hour of hard endorphin releasing exercise! Except is killer on the dinner invites lol

The knife said...

I really envy those Jughead sort of people...