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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I was always skinny .  The hollows at the collar bones were so deep, the neighbours used to comment - tikdey dabey thevta yetil.

Reed thin, that;s how thin I was.  Each time I wore a new outfit,  the marathi speaking neighbours would say - केरसुणीच्या काडीला गुंडाळल्या सारखे वाटतेय. 

Neighbours.. they were more like family.  Aai and Kaka, I used to call them  And after the parents at home,  it was in their presence that I would piroutte. 

Dresses did not suit me, nor did the maxi's of those times.  Nor did the churidars .  Nor did the saaris when I got around to wearing them.  Washboard abs, sticks for arms.... I wished for some meat on me.

I loved the saree.

Heavily starched cotton sarees and organdy sarees from Finlay Mills.  These were my favourite.  The cotton sarees, I would starch them  at home.  The tinned Starch Powders had not made their presence felt,  atleast not in my world.  So it was sabudaana (sago), or rice starch for cottons and edible gum starch for silks.  I needed to have my sarees crisp.  The crackle as I unfolded the ironed saree would make my face light up.

The organdies were my favourites.  They stood the test of time - 1 hr at the typing institute, 8 hrs at work , 2 hrs of commute and 2 hrs of college- and yet when I returned home I would still have every pleat in place.  They wouldn't go limp.  The sarees would be so stiff that they would leave wounds on my ankles as they brushed against them.  Wounds as in gashes.  Even then, the organdi remained my favourite.

Then one day, the Benovelent one, decided to fulfill my wish.  The kilograms rained.

You are tall,  You can carry it, they said.  I fell for it.  I  even believed that the fuller figure complemented me.

The wardrobe needed to be refurbished.  Every one or two years.

It didn't upset me much.   I hurt only at times when   I would love an outfit at a store and  would find myself unable to squeeze into it.

Obesity didnt trouble me much otherwise. I didnt think of it as an issue ever.

The Oprah Winfrey show was a very popular talk show then in the 90's and I would watch most of the episodes.  One episode dealt with obesity , women, and how it affected them.  Not medically but esteem issues.  There was one lady on the show, who mentioned that she was extremely upset that she couldnt see her vagina anymore.  Her paunch came in the way.

My paunch made it impossible for me  to paint my toe nails.Any other woman would let this have become an  inspiration.  I gave up painting my toe nails.  

I was still on the right side of forty.  with a  natural enthusiasm for life,  a generally happy disposition..  who needed the cosmetic when my radiance came from within.   Obesity did not become an esteem issue,  nor was it a cause for medical woes either.

The forties.  The children now grown up .  A lot of me time .  It was then I subjected the self to a lot of critical appreciation.  The appreciation - there was none. Only found a lot to criticize.  The self esteem took a battering.

The forties .    Damn the inner beauty, damn the personal contentment and joy, why wasn't I beautiful ?  The mental picture I had  of me and the image of me in the mirror were a mismatch.  What had I done to myself ?

The motivation would kick me into bringing on the change.  Alas.. the enthusiasm wouldn't last long enough. 

The forties also gave me more free time to introspect.  I realised I was not immortal.  Till this time, death, parting was never in my thoughts.  Life takes you down streets you never imagined existed.  The frailty of  existence..  The desire to live . live healthy, for myself,  for my dear ones ws now overpowering.   I had to take good care of myself. 

The pain in the leg.  The sudden unexplained pain in the leg and the investigations that followed , showed that I was extemely low on Vitamin D, B12, that I had sugar issues and could move on to becoming a diabetic if I did not make concerted efforts to reverse the situation while I still could.  The cholesterol and Triglyceride levels were threatening to spill over the outer limits.  Losing weight would take care of some aspects -thefluctuating  sugar, and the burden on my legs for starters.

The excesses that I indulged in ,  the vague timings I kept, the lack of personal discipline.. all this had to change.   The self had to be introduced to an element of discipline.

A regime had to be established.  A log had to be maintained.

The doctor suggested a one hr walk , along with a diet to be followed.   No sweets, a control on portions, controlled intake of carbs and goodbye to rice.  everything else was manageable... but rice?  how would i do without it.

The compulsive coffee guzzler that I was, I am now off coffee.  I do not deny myself totally when craving strikes.. I steal a sip from the cup closest to me at the breakfast table.  Where I used to munch on a fistful of anything sweet, I am now down to a bite or 2 of the same.

The walks are trying too.  I had settled into a comfortable 30 min walk each day, routine.  It was not enough apparently.  I had to progress to an hrs walk. This is something i have to be able to incorporate in my regular routine.  Have been doing so for the past 10 days.  Knowing me, I am scared to dream of a long term goal.

The walk.... The calf muscles go into painful spasms.  Unbearable sometimes.  Like today when I had to quit in 20 mins. The walking shoes were abandoned and the sandals were donned.  also   a pair of stockings which grip the leg  snugly.  These helped and I could complete today's 60 minute walking vrata without wincing much,

Tomorrow I plan to go back to the shoes, with the stockings.  Have to watch how  I walk too.  I have been told that I throw my legs ahead of me, landing on my heel first.  Will watch out tomorrow.

The walk has also made me complacent.. a wee bit. I am prone to cheating on my diet hoping that the walk will offset it.  Will have tp reign in such tendencies.

Hoping to knock one  more Kilogram off my frame, in the next 3 weeks

Tomorrow is another day. Am looking forward to it .  :-)


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