I havent weighed myself in a while and I dont intend to. It is good enough for me that my trousers are hanging off my hips, and the thighs are no long chicken leg on a larger scale. I havent used the measuring tape, for I do know that I havent really whittled down per se, it is good enough for me that I now fit into jeans I had long given up any hopes of getting past my knees. The difference is perceptible. And I say this with absolutely no modesty. I know I have lost weight, and I am not about to preen and pretend to be nonchalant and say, “Really, you think so, No, no, there’s so much fat here still to go.” Yup there is still so much fat still to be whittled off, but I’m liking myself where I am right now. I’m looking slimmer. Fitter. And feeling more energetic and positive. I do need more to go off. But I’m happy with this.
How did this happen? Was it a miracle? Was it a Stomach belt and exerciser? Was it diet? Was it concerted gymming? Was it stapling of the lips? Was it cooking for one’s self? Nope. It all started with a photograph of me clicked during Independence Day. A group photograph. I’m standing with a few friends. And I looked at it. And looked again to find myself in the photograph. I couldnt spot me. Naturally, I couldnt. I was looking for a mental image of a curvaceous moi. And suddenly, whomp, it hit me. I was the fat one in the middle. The curves had gone to pure fat, and no matter which angle I tried to explain it out (unshapely kurta, wearing white, churidar making legs look skinny in comparison to torso), I was just plain overweight. No two ways about it. And all the kidding of self that I had been doing (its PMS, its constipation, its water retention) when it came to struggling into my denims was just that, kidding of the self. It was heartbreaking. I was the invisible fat woman now. No wonder shopkeepers didnt notice me. And salepeople smirked when I picked up stuff that seemed sort of trendy.
How had the fat crept on? Laziness, sheer laziness. And gluttony. I was doing buffet lunches. Eating like it was going out of fashion. Zero housework. Zero exercise. And concealing it all by wearing tops that were progressively becoming like tents. And wearing the loosest trousers in my wardrobe. Of course, I was kidding no one but myself. Everyone around me could see me blimp out, except me. It also didnt help that I have a sweetheart of a husband who values his life, and will never make any incriminatory comments about weight when asked but just dodge sticky questions by non committal grunts or dig nose deep into the Day Trading tips tomes that he devours like some folk devour Playboy.
I had to lose weight. I weighed myself. I was at 62 kgs. For my height, my optimum is 55 to 58 kgs. I had a minor crying attack when I realised my weight at full term when carrying the child was 63. I had been 54 when I conceived. I was not greedy. I didnt want to get to 54 again. That would be expecting a bit too much from a person who loves food, and hates to exercise. But a couple of kilos off would be good. It wasnt just the vanity. It was also the health angle. I do have PCOD. The weight keeps piling on, despite all my attempts to keep it off, and it becomes a vicious cycle. Being overweight also leads to high BP, and cholesterol, and diabetes and heart attacks. All of which is there, ready and waiting to pounce on my, from family history.
I needed a plan. Thankfully, I soon found one. Rujuta Diwekar. Didnt read the book that got Kareena to size zero, and of course, I thought she looked her worst when she hit size zero, but I did chance upon her tips on a website and they all sounded pretty sensible and do-able. Starting with the dont start your day with tea or coffee. So I went through the tips and picked out the ones that suited me. Which were more likely to be tips I stuck with. Not for me the GM and South Beach diets, or Atkins or all the stuff that has worked for so many people, because I couldnt be damned to regulate my food intake according to categories. So here is what I did do:
Start my morning with milk (with two heaped spoons of Bournvita to allow it to get down the gullet)
Completely cut out tea and coffee. I’ve already cut out alcohol. I dont smoke. I dont drink carbonated beverages.
I rarely eat chocolates or sweets. Maybe occasionally. I just dont get them home. Fried food? That would be another no.
I’ve also cut down on eating out, and takeaways. Being broke has also helped. I’m less likely to suggest meeting up for lunch to friends. Stuff like pizzas and burgers have given way to frankies and chicken wraps. And are very occasional.
I try to snack every 2 hours on something. Not much. Just a little to keep the hunger pangs from turning me into a feeding machine when I hit proper food. Peanuts. Chana. A fruit.
I eat a very hearty breakfast with two parathas. It keeps me full for a good part of the morning. I eat a proper lunch and a proper dinner. But lunch is sharp at 1 pm, and dinner by 8pm.
I serve myself only enough to be cupped in the palm of two hands for lunch and one hand for dinner.
I drink a lot of water and liquids like fresh juices, nimbu sharbat, lassi, chaas. It does make it a bit of a sticky situation when one is stuck in traffic with no restroom in sight, but one rides it out by crossing and uncrossing ones legs till one can hobble into the nearest available rest room.
I dont have junk food. No snacks. No 4 pm grazing on bhujia, mixture and such like. And frankly, I dont have the urge to do so anymore. If I’m really desperate, I will grab a handful of dry fruits.
And no, I havent given up white rice. I am a rice eater and will be one till my dying day. Still eat rice twice a day. Even at night. Post 7 pm. Blasphemy. But I limit my quantity. I’ve cut out white bread completely though.
I try to keep myself busy through the day, and not just veg out with Google or a book. I try to maximise trips into the kitchen and to the bedroom just to add up steps through my day.
And finally, and the most important. I try to walk for an hour every single day. Not a fast walk that puts me out of breath, but a relaxed gentle pace, gossiping with friends, and enjoying the evening breeze. It destresses me and releases a lot of feel good hormones.
This is all I do. No gymming. No diet foods. No exercise machines. It has worked for me. Now all I have to do is stick to the routine. I dont think it is a diet I’m on. It’s plain simple commonsense. Eat less than you expend. Eat healthy. Cut out junk food. And be active.
Tell me what you do to keep your weight in control.