By Deepthi Nair
I have been on a weight loss journey since April 2018. It all started when I had to pick a dress for a formal party that I had to go to and none of my old clothes were flattering my body type. I was at my wits’ end and close to tears. That kickstarted a fitness journey, which is still ongoing and I intend to keep at it, not withstanding the fact that this year’s edition of Dubai Fitness Challenge is over.Today, the weighing scale tells me that I am 10 kilograms lighter. That’s a sizeable amount of weight to lose in six months, isn’t it? This is without resorting to any fad diets.
I often pat myself on the back for the progress I have achieved. My dress size has dropped as well. However, I must admit that I was off-track for some time when I went on two holidays and my personal trainer took a month-long break. I know I have a long way to go to achieve my ideal weight. It’s a work in progress.
What despairs me is how no one has noticed my weight loss, and it’s not a kilo or two. I lost 10kg. Of course, I don’t expect my colleagues to notice it. They see me every day. But often times, when I meet friends or family who I haven’t seen in months, they ignore me and instead compliment my husband, who has shed just a couple of kilograms. Giving where credit is due, the man has been working hard at it: he goes jogging, hits the gym and plays badminton every week. But I have been sweating it out in the gym too and strictly keeping a watch on my diet. I recently enrolled for swimming classes as well.
It sucks to see your partner gorging on a delicious meal while you munch on tasteless cucumbers for days on end. I have also cut down significantly on my carbohydrate intake. Where I would eat sandwiches, toasts, pancakes, idli and dosa (a South Indian staple) for breakfast earlier, I have completely switched to oats, muesli and a variety of berries now. I have taken out bread (white and brown) from my diet and drastically curtailed my rice consumption (unless it’s my cheat day). I have replaced my white/brown sugar with stevia. In fact, this is the most I have kept curbs on my dietary intake ever.
I also have a huge sweet tooth and would always give in to my cheese cake temptation after a hard day at work. I have given up all those high-calorie foods now, unless it happens to be my ‘hard-earned’ cheat day.
It may be wrong to seek social validation for one’s weight loss. After all, I am not doing this for others, rather to improve my own health and well-being. And, of course, to fit into my old cute clothes. But, a small compliment would go a long way to boost my motivation and morale.
But, no! At a recent party that I had attended, I was hoping someone would notice the efforts I had been putting in. But no such luck. All my friends were gushing over someone who they claimed had lost weight. I had to fight back my urge to tell them: “Hey, look over here. That person is me.”
In despair, I asked my trainer on what could be wrong. Her response was quite caustic: She suggested that I change my friends. While that may sound a bit far-fetched, I wish there was some encouragement from close quarters. As much as I enjoy feeling lighter and fitting into some of my old clothes, a little acknowledgement would work wonders. I console myself saying the change is not noticeable enough.
On the flip side, I have observed that people are quick to notice and pass cruel comments if one has gained weight. Why the hypocrisy, I wonder?
I wish I could be as carefree as plus-sized model Ashley Graham, who pioneers body positivity. Over the years, people have body-shamed me for being too big, too curvy and not good enough for their impossible beauty standards. But at the end of the day, I guess what matters is whether I am comfortable in my own skin. And I am getting there slowly. Wish me luck on my journey.
Deepthi writes on Dubai property but loves to be in the thick of all that’s fun in this city