Without having to bribe research scientists, my favourite theory about my inexplicable weight gain has been validated. So goes the news report, “Every two years for 16 years, the Nurses Health Study collected data from more than 68,000 women between the ages 40 to 65, which included information on sleep habits and body weight. The study found that participants who slept five hours a night were 32 percent more likely to experience a weight gain of 33 pounds or greater, and 15 per cent more likely to become obese compared with participants who slept seven hours a night.”
That crash you hear is the floor collapsing under the impact of me leapfrogging with joy. There, I can now tell the world, its not me downing everything edible I can lay my hands on. Its the milkman. He’s the one responsible. I am going to shoot him down with brat’s dinky air bullet toy gun in mock protest. He’s the one who comes in at the unearthly hour of 5.30 am when ghouls are still roaming the earth and insists on giving me the start of my life. Considering that by the time the brat winds down enough to be cajoled into resting his head on the pillow its well past eleven thirty, you do the math. I am getting by on six hours of sleep. And thats why the kilos are piling on.
Says the study and I quote, “The group who slept for six hours were 12 per cent more likely to experience major weight gain and six per cent more likely to become obese when compared with those who slept seven hours a night.” The rationale, the lack of sleep causes the body to burn calories less efficiently. My theory, the lack of sleep makes me hungrier and gives me more awake time to eat more. Why then, can someone explain to me, does this not work for the brat, who sleeps like a bird and is skeletal. Maybe this is true only in cases of pre-menopausal women like me, and with hormones being thrown into the fray of explanations, everything irrational can be rationalised.
The study also talks about leptin and ghrelin, hormones that regulates how hungry we feel. I have an overdose of the latter, am sure, its the one that makes me feel I could eat an ox every half an hour after having eating one. Its also the one that makes me want to bite off everyone’s head, should I not be to lay hands on said ox. I need to get some shots of this leptin thing, it is said this is the hormone that makes you feel full. If this really works, every weightloss clinic should be offering shots of this to go with the celery sticks and radish salad they put you on.
Yesterday was at home, and fed like a starving famine stricken refugee. Two parathas for breakfast, plus oats porridge, a bowlful. Chicken curry and rice for lunch. Cake for dessert. Tea and bread butter in the evening. No, it is not the ideal diet. But I was on holiday yesterday, and allowed myself the cake and the butter and the ghee soaked parathas. I skipped dinner in abject apology to self, and hoped not much damage had been done to reduction efforts. By night, was so ravenous could have raided the refrigerator and finished every single leftover languishing in remote corners with fungal life spores spawning on them, but with admirable self restraint watched fashion channels and the skeletal women marching up and down. The distance between them and me was so great that one vowed to stay off butter and ghee and cake for the rest of one’s life. Not that one wants to be skeletal, but it would be nice to know that one doesnt need to have to do a twist and turn and jump and wiggle everytime one needs to get into a pair of trousers.
Going to the gym can only happen, one has concluded, when the brat begins regular school thanks to the fact that no one is willing to risk babysitting him for two hours at a stretch in the immediate household, including MIL and hubby. The mother who would is too far off to make the babysitting trip, and would spend an hour just dropping him off and picking him up. Half my exercise session over.
I used to be the kind of girl who slept through her adolescence. One great occasion was when the door had to be broken down, and an anguished mother fearing the worst, found daughter in deep dead sleep, on the divan, right next to the main door. Needless to say, I hadnt heard the banging of the door, the umpteen doorbells, the calling out of my name, nothing. Dead sleep. That was me. A self set record was the time I slept from eight one night to 2.30 pm the next afternoon. The mother says she just checked occasionally to make sure I was breathing and let me be. Some rest for her, from having to churn out the delicacies. Needless to say, I was as heavy an eater as I was a sleeper. I awoke, much irritated by the growling in my stomach. Ate some, and went right back to sleep. Those were the days. And I had a waistline with an indentation too, rather than the tub that masquerades for a waistline now. So now I know. I am fat because I am sleep deprived.
My solution is here. Am off to sleep. Will sleep anywhere I can. On the way to the office. Between appointments. Waiting in the reception area at the doctor’s. Waiting outside school to pick up brat. Voila. Within a week, a slim trim and new me. One who actually fits in the trousers she bought last month. Bye then, am off to buy the wrap around pillow that allows me to sleep standing. Shouldnt have any trouble doing that though. This is a woman who had perfected the art of sleeping standing in rush hour local trains in Mumbai.