Much to my surprise, I have begun to gain weight.
The surprise stems from the fact that I have spent several of my growing years bracketed as ‘skinny’ before reaching respectable proportions. When I was in school, my mother tried feeding me every weight gain potion and tonic she could find. I did my bit by doing weightlifting with water bottles and trying to develop a love for food apart from French fries. Finally, by the time I started my post grads, I had reached a stage where I no longer needed to celebrate the emergence of a new kg on the weighing scale. (Earlier I used to treat my friends to chocolates when this happened!)
Once I started working, I thought nothing of eating out at the drop of a hat. I love cheese and junk food and saw no reason not to indulge myself. I knew weight gain was not something that came easily to me. The battle of the bulge was the farthest thing from my mind much to the envy of my peer group. I say all this to give some idea of how alien my current situation feels to me. It is only in the last couple of years that I have begun to feel a slowdown in my metabolism. It took me a while to accept the idea that, yes, I was indeed sliding down the road to plumpness. The numbers on the weighing scale are inching upwards as the cheeseburst pizzas and zinger burgers begin to catch up with me.
For a long while it was just enough to look at people around me and think that at least I was not ‘that’ fat (you know what I mean?). But I couldn’t deceive myself any longer after I realized I could no longer wear some of my favourite clothes. After spending months simply ‘thinking’ about diet and exercise, I joined a gym. I decided that food was one of the greatest pleasures left to man and I couldn’t, simply couldn’t, starve myself or stay away from my favourite dishes. I joined the neighbourhood gym with a lot of gusto, the vision of a slimmer me, crystal clear in my head.
My enthusiasm and energy didn’t last long. I was waking up at the unearthly hour of 7am to go to the gym which was run by a couple of ladies in their home. The challenge of waking early was daunting enough. Coupled with a ‘no pressure’, homely atmosphere it led to a serious lack of enthusiasm. I needed to know that I was burning fat, I wanted to know which muscles I was building up, I needed something more motivating. So I dropped out after a couple of weeks and began to search in earnest for a ‘proper’ gym. After much research and deliberation, I joined a gym near my office. I reasoned it had to be close to my home or my office if I was going to go there regularly. I also decided to go after work to avoid the problem of waking up early.
This gym has all the works. (Which it should, considering that it’s the most expensive one in the whole city!) They have the latest machines, a trainer to guide you and monitor your progress, steam rooms etc. Once I make it there, it’s all good. I exercise for nearly an hour and a half and while my body realizes just how out of shape it is, I get the satisfaction of knowing that I am actually doing something to correct the problem. Afterward, I drag my exhausted self into a cab and lie there like a zombie as some semblance of life slowly creeps back into me.
But. This entire scenario only works if I actually make it to the gym. I have discovered in myself an unfortunate tendency to dream up a multitude of reasons not to exercise on any given day. More often than not, I feel sorry for my poor self stuck in office the whole day. A minion of the corporate powers, my salvation seems to lie in making a run for home and hearth as soon as possible (or having a Wicked Brownie at the nearby Barista). So now I spend a bomb on my gym membership to satisfy some twisted part of my mind. My exercise in the last week has been confined to shopping for gym clothes and reading articles on the internet about treadmills and exercycles and lat pulleys…
But ……….today is a new day and as I write this, the spirit of my slimmer self is strong in me. I want to be her again…Watch out gym, here I come!