When I was in school I always fell into the category of girls who are labeled “chubby cheeks” even when they turn sixteen. I was in the top order of the roly-poly members of the class. (Not that I am Angelina Jolie NOW!!) . It was unbelievable, for every five-centimeter increase in length I used to put on a staggering three kilos horizontally.
When I look back now, I feel like exclaiming like those wishful English Poets
“Ah! For all those skinny legs and pretty faces
And big brown eyes set aflutter
Making me Olive Green with Envy
As they plaster their toasts with extra butter”
My skinny friends used to celebrate food every waking moment with no visible effect on their physique and all I had to do to gain weight was miss my despondent walk one evening. I could have been the most likely candidate to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show specially produced for dealing with “Teenage Obesity and Depression” but I am glad that the Indian media had a lot of other important issues to deal with back then.
I was encouraged into exercising from a very young age, being born to fitness conscious parents.
It took me a while to make peace with the fact that life is not fair to everyone. Just like Destiny, everybody is born with a different BMR and that threw me into a lifelong research project. Fitness!
I have done almost everything that people usually do to stay fit. Swimming, Gymming, Running, Skipping, Dancing, Aerobics, Brisk Walks, Trekking and even Yoga!
I have tried all kinds of diets, given up milk, then given up sugar, lived on fruits, skipped dinners, optimized my food intake in a zillion ways, tortured myself with cruel detoxifying diets and even tried some really stupid things.
I am completely over the “Why me?” feeling now. I take great pride in the fact that I know so much about how to stay fit and eat healthy food but I also learnt some really important things as a side effect of my “Fitness Quest”
1.Regularity: I accept that I tend to be obsessive sometimes, but because of regular exercise, I am comfortably regular in all my other resolves too. I don’t give up on something very easily
2.Patience: I have tried and proved to myself that Instant diets do not work. Nothing that has the “Instant” prefix is really effective except Instant Coffee (and I know that the filter coffee fans would still disagree). That kind of makes it easier to wait for other things too.
3. Awareness: Every bar of chocolate makes me wonder if I have the energy for a forty-five minute jog the next day. I tend to cross out unnecessary options by imagining the outcomes.
4. Knowledge: It started with turning around mayonnaise bottles to check the calories per serving and now it extends to anti-oxidants, heart-friendly oils, anti-cancer fruits and skin friendly nuts. =)
Working to stay fit makes us realize that to achieve a larger, concrete goal we need to optimize a lot of smaller variables, even though you run the risk of turning into a scary control freak. It teaches you that if you invest your energies in controlling all the controllable parameters of your life, you have little time left to complain about the uncontrollable, helpless realities! =)