I’m one of those people who will forever think that she’s too fat and will forever be on a diet, even if I’m already at my most ideal dress size and weight. I always and constantly think I could be a bit thinner – the sort of psychotic thinking that makes a girl have a disorder order (which incidentally, I did – complete with a long course of visits to a psychiatrist and everything. Another story for another day).
Then I heard this one day, which made double chin wobble a bit as my mouth gaped open in this wondrous sort of surprise. It amazed me that someone could be this free and well, normal, about their weight.
I have this friend, Shantini who, much like me and given the chance, would be at the gym for about 4 hours a day, every day, if she could. It’s all or nothing and she would push herself to the kind of insane heights that might even make Dwayne The Rock Johnson proud. There was a time, she told me, that she could lift such heavy weights that men at the gym would stand around her to watch, amused and rather amazed at how much this tiny little girl could carry.
Then there’s her sister, Sharmini, from whom this wondrous new thought comes from. One day, as Shantini and I sat around lamenting once again how many more kilos we have left to lose (always 5 kilos, no matter how much you’ve already lost), Shantini brought up her sister’s attitudes to dieting and fatness.
She said, “I wish I was more like my sister. She’s really not that bothered but she’ll still take care of herself. So when she gets a bit plump or her clothes are pinching a little, she’ll just say, ‘Yeah, I know I put on a bit of weight huh? Well, guess I better cut back my food’. And she’ll just adjust herself, eat a little less, start exercising again, and get back down to her usual size and weight.”
Incredible! I thought to myself. I’m someone who beats myself up every time I put on even a pound or I dissolve into a ball of self-hatred when my jeans feel a bit tighter. I am also someone who would then go on a crazy crash diet and exercise myself to the point of collapse. So when I heard this, I thought it quite revolutionary! It was amazing to me how someone could be so unfazed about putting on not just one, but a few pounds; and then just take such calm, measured, balanced measures to lose them. No fuss, no freaking out, no extreme behaviour, no body-hatred.
Just a totally healthy, balanced, calm, peaceful approach to her body and how she felt.
Not rocket science, evidently. In fact, quite possibly the most common sense, why-the-fuck-didn’t-I-ever-realise-this kind of truths.
Now, every time I’ve had a massive binge, that sundress is feeling a bit snug again, or the scales are telling me horrible things again, I try to invoke the spirit of Sharmini. Follow me:
Breathe. Shrug your shoulders the way you’d imagine Sharmini would and go, “Nyyyeehh! Yah I guess I put on a bit of weight, huh. Okay, better do something about it”. Relax. Have poached eggs for breakfast instead of lashings of oily cheese-filled scrambled ones and stay on the cross-trainer just an extra 15 minutes. You’ll be alright. Just go with how you feel.