Today, as I was going through the morning paper I was surprised to find a little snippet on me talking about “how much weight I’d lost and the glow that went with it”. Can’t say much about the glow part (doesn’t the glow lie in the eye of the beholder?), but weight loss is another thing. What’s interesting is that the weight I’ve supposedly lost was never there to begin with!! My weight hasn’t changed (it takes work, I admit) since I was 18! What has changed is the way people look at me.
I was brought up in a family where fitness was of utmost importance, and looking “slim” was secondary. Fitness meant being healthy, having energy to go about the day and still have lots left over. It meant if we randomly decided to walk over to some one who lived 10km away we would not collapse halfway or if we planned a long trek in the mountains we’d be able to not just walk and last but be able to take in the beauty with out fatigue gnawing away. Being fit was a virtue that was instilled in me just like integrity and honesty. And it was fun. I still remember the day my father ‘allowed’ me to go jogging with him for the first time. I had been seeing him every day, take off for his 5 km mandatory jog with the dogs and would want to go with him, but he would say “wait till you’re a little older”. I was 13 when I began jogging everyday with him. It was great being able to spend quality time with him and at the same time exercise. Unsurprisingly, I was good at all sports being athletic to begin with. And I must add that being athletic does give me an edge over a lot of people, I am able to endure long working hours, run marathons, go trekking and enjoy much more of what life has to offer.
Getting back to the weighty issue at hand. I believe more than trying to be “thin”, its important to pick a realistic weight and try and remain there. Too many people loose too much weight too quickly and put it back on, eventually. And the business of putting on and loosing weight again and again is very very bad for one’s health in the long run. I have tried to keep my weight constant (of course I do on occasion go up a kilo post a holiday) over the last few years and have by and large succeeded. And this shall be my fitness goal for the years to come. Not certainly “trying to become thinner to get into skinny jeans”.
And as I said earlier on, I have not changed; it’s the way people perceive me that has changed. Most people have taken my characters in Dor and Manorama Six Feet Under very seriously (which is a complement) and believe that if I am wearing loose clothes, it probably means I am a plus size! So if I am at some do in say a tight dress or say “skinny’ jeans the automatic reaction is “ohmygod look at how skinny you are!”. And I am like, Hello??? There is another person called Gul who is not Zeenat or Nimmi. I guess its ok as long as I have the last laugh:-)