Eat Today, Next Time Don’t: The Never Ending Weight Woes Continues

We all have the common nagging itch of feeling we are at a loss when it comes to our weights. We all wish for magic wands to just make those oodles of extra weight evaporate into thin air.

Admit it that amidst all the inconsequential and significant stresses of our lives, there is one stress which bugs most of the people in this world, especially if you are a female.

Not wanting to sound stereotypical in my supposition, but it’s my observation that women all over the world fuss, fret, frown and lose sleep just too much about this supra stress called weight issues.

It could be anyone downright from the model with the Barbie doll like figure, celebrities with halls of fame, entrepreneurs, housewives, working women, or any women you see down the road.

The common itch in many women is the fear of weighing extra

We all have the common nagging itch of feeling we are at a loss when it comes to our weights. The general wrapping up is that no one is content with their weight, and we all wish for magic wands to just make those oodles of extra weight evaporate into thin air, despite us gobbling anything that is palatable.

But sadly enough, our calorie meters work in inverse relations with our lifestyles and food habits.

Slowly entering the middle age, and trying hard to not let my youth escape, I have practically tried every trick to keep myself fit and fine. Gone are the days when those uncomplicated weighing machines would just point to your weight.

Now in this smart technological age we have those culprit machines that not only tell you your weight but also come with a discourteous message that you are obese.

Not believing in the machine’s verdict ( it is artificial intelligence after all ) my worst fears were confirmed when a medical checkup concluded high cholesterol levels and the pounds of extra flesh that I was carrying.

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Oops! And there began a vicious cycle of thinking and losing my mind on how to reduce the burden of my being on poor mother earth.

Heck no, how could it be, I am reasonably active (Mumbai people can’t afford to be stationary). My daily dose of exercise is supplemented by mounting those flight of stairs on the local train station, I run, I hop, I walk fast to reach office on time.

Are weight woes weighing down the mind of every other female?

So why is this weight still there? Is this exercise not enough? Sadly yes. Most medical practitioners will tell you that the mind has to be stress-free when exercising.  So all of us Mumbaikars daily jogs to work and back don’t actually help as they cause more of stress and straining.

I find those super women with not an ounce of extra weight on their bodies guzzling all junk food and voilà it doesn’t show on their bodies at all, while I wear what I eat so obviously.

Daily commute contributes to hunger

Not that we don’t try. I see a lot of women who whole day indulge in eating healthily and consciously, but blame it on Mumbai’s commute, which makes you ultra hungry after a long day at work.

As one steps out of the trains to run home, the aroma of Vada Pav being freshly prepared in the umpteen number of stall outside stations makes you salivate. The hungry stomach growls for a grab.

At that time, my so sane brain completely reverses sides and tempts me to go for it.

“Eat one day, nothing happens, eat today, next time don’t. Once in a while, if you eat, it’s okay. Diet from tomorrow.”

I obediently listen to the dictates of my preachy mind and make a beeline for gobbling the hot delicacy. The last bite over and there it starts again. My brain retracts its words fast enough to put a politician to shame, and now reprimands me for succumbing to the lure.

“Could you not control? So many extra calories. Indulging in junk food.”

I for the next many hours, guiltily curse myself for eating. A few days later, the same story repeats.

Now that we are not conscious enough.  Even if you don’t want to, newspapers, Facebook, WhatsApp and all other media channels make certain through their daily intrusions in our lives that we be scared of the word ‘Calorie’ and count it more than our bank balances.

The health feeds are full of scary accounts of diabetes, heart rate, obesity, what you should eat, how much exercise, what’s bad and what’s worse….  I go nuts as some days the articles say eat this, after some days some other articles say don’t eat that.

What and whom to rely on

I guess if we follow these articles, we would soon be left with nothing to eat. The food experts tell us how to not compromise on any food, but change the way we cook and eat.

Salads, soups wholesome fibre rich foods, brown rice, quinoa, oats… Oh, Wow!  I get so motivated to eat them.

But who will prepare them?

After a hard tiring day the last thing on my mind is to make a vegetable laden salad with all greens and dressing or make a healthy soup or a juice.

How many of us can actually afford the luxury of specialized cooks who would prepare such healthy delicacies.

I guess it works in a disguised way for the amount of energy I spend in cleaning juicer, or cutting veggies helps me shed more calories.

All working people need shots of energy the moment they enter home after a long day, and they ransack and raid the fridge and attack every food item they can see.

Who cares about calories in those moments?

Your basic instinct of hunger dominates. Healthy snacks, yes, but where to get them from?

Go to any local departmental stores or drag your shopping cart in the fancy malls, you will hardly find any snack or munchies which are fit to be consumed.

The hidden information behind those fat free, sugar-free advertised items is never visible to us. The marketing gimmicks along with our ignorance makes us eat them without feeling guilty, and in this whole process we never realize that we are causing ourselves more harm.

Do garment makers consider XL size people when they design clothes?

Mind you, it’s not easy to be the XL series when you are eyeing the fabulous dresses on the mannequin. Most shopkeepers would take a look at you and declare that the dress won’t fit you, even at times when you know you could squeeze in.

You realize that garment manufacturers are quite unresponsive to the overweight people and seldom fashion designers consider them in their designs.

Of course where there is a will there is a way. Experts would tell us take the flight of steps, walk, exercise, hit the gym, watch what you eat and to some extent we do religiously follow it all.

Then there are days when we are late and fear the scornful look on the boss’s faces and jump in the lift. Gym we go but soon with work pressures going to the gym after the initial euphoria also becomes more exhausting than the actual exercise we do there.

Mumbai doesn’t boost of too many parks and jogging tracks which are nearby. It takes effort at times to reach there for a walk. The pollution, the traffic, commute dissuade us.

In the battle of motivation vs vada pav, vada pav wins!

Motivation fades, energies become low, and we are back to drooling in the smell of the vada pav.

Most people who maintain the Oh so perfect figure would proudly tell you that they only smell and eat food with their eyes. They make claims that the day they eat a bit extra, they burn it out. It sounds like the perfect body control system, which puts me to shame, remembering how my food greed takes over my rationalizations.

Most of us are juggling between what to do.  Some say eat and lose, others say don’t eat and lose, others advocate choice eating…. Somewhere stuck up in all this, I ultimately succumb to eat and pile.

Just longing for the day when the genie gives me the magic potion of losing all that I have extra. Till then, it’s experimenting with every trick to manage my weight.

Image source: Triloks From Getty Images, free on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Dr Pooja Birwatkar

I am a post doctorate in social sciences, specializing in education and a professor at Somaiya Vidyavihar University. My areas of expertise are Research , Life skills and Management of Education. I am a voracious reader read more...

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