Your weighing scale shocks you.
You stood on the scale because your jeans wouldn’t zip up. Where did those 14 ghastly kilos come from? When? Better get cracking and get rid of them immediately, you think!
No time like now. The will is powerful, motivation fresh, and out goes all the goodies from the fridge.
Let the maid’s children feast on those biscuits, the potato chips, snacks, noodles, soft drinks, or whatever.
Your cheese tins go to the neighbour’s house: let their family clog up their arteries. You will, you decide, eat only cucumber, carrot, onion, orange, apple, cabbages, boiled peas-beans-spinach, and lemon juice. Unflavoured. No oil, no butter, no fat in your food. The medium of cooking is water. Nothing could be healthier, you guess.
You allow yourself a chapatti, a slice of toast and a dessertspoonful of rice through the day. Of course, you’ve dug out the old skipping rope and are doing the old one-two regimes 300-times, twice daily.
Don’t believe in quick-fixes
You’ve read somewhere that just 50 calories a day could amount to five kg loss in a year! Your neighbour told you that you mustn’t eat bananas, mangoes, chickoos, papayas. You do a better thing – you give up all fruits. After all, they do contain sugar and sugar makes you fat. Try fasting, a colleague suggests, without consuming even water. It works, she insists. A cousin gives you weight-loss tablets that “helped” her boyfriend.
The results show in days. Who says it’s hard to lose weight? You’ve proved that if you have the will, you can do it. The needle sticks at four kg less and it’s only been a week since you started “dieting.”
The following weekend, you sleep, sleep and sleep some more. You dream of parathas, puris, halwas. By Monday morning, you have to force yourself to get to office. But, hey, the jeans fit, okay? Just half-an-inch to go. You’ll do it. By Wednesday, colleagues say you’re looking pale. At an important meeting, your mind can’t focus. On your way home on Thursday, your legs feel wobbly. Your head feels dizzy and it aches. You’ve been making verses in your mind and the only rhymes you can think of are dosas and samosas. Comes the weekend, and you sink to the floor before you reach your bed. Your anxious loved ones call in the family doctor. They can’t believe their ears: “She’s starving,” says the good doctor.
It’s shocking when the doctor insists that the weight you’ve lost is all going to get put on when you are “normal” again. A few days more and the muscle mass, rather than the fat, will go. The stamina also reduces rapidly. The tingly feeling in the limbs, the dizziness in the head, the forever-sleepiness were all due to a drop in nutritional levels. You’re asking for illness, notes the doctor, because your immune system’s under duress. Get back to normal food, is the advice.
You get the point. “Dieting” for weight loss must be done safely and also systematically.
- Drastically start eating less
- Cut out any foods completely [bananas and mangoes]
- Stop eating all fats and carbohydrates [rice, roti, bread]
- Use laxatives or water pills [or, diuretics]
- Follow diets that ask you to take large doses of vitamins, or herbal supplements
- Stop exercising.
You made a mistake, you agree. You won’t diet again, you promise!