'Why not knock off a few more kilos and a couple of inches now that the desire for an amble has replaced that for cheesecake?' wonders Kishore Singh.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com.
My wife drinks a series of herbal concoctions in the morning, at least one of which seems to consist of turmeric. But she was annoyed when my mother mentioned that raw haldi, in excess, could cause damage to the joints.
"There's nothing wrong with my joints," retorted my wife, "because I do yoga."
When, later, I reminded my wife that the last time she had practiced an asana was a few years ago, she had the grace to look sheepish.
"But I get my exercise from gardening," she insisted -- a position she takes every time anyone in the family chides her for an extra helping of dessert.
My daughter maintains that commuting to work is enough workout for her.
My son, the only one with a gym membership, rarely makes it there given his usually late office hours and an equally late dating schedule.
Yet, they are all alarmist when it comes to minding my girth for me.
"You've put on weight," says my son at least once every day.
"You didn't go for your walk again," my daughter reminds me.
"I think you ought to eat less," adds my wife, though it might just be an excuse to filch food off my plate.
Truth be told, I was beginning to feel a mite heavy around the tummy, but I didn't take it seriously till a visit to the tailor according to whose expert opinion I had "filled up" a bit.
I refused to submit to new measurements though, and told him to suit me up according to those on his record.
But I admit to feeling panicky. I'd never before dieted, or fasted, but guided now by common sense, I decided to eliminate all cereals from the menu.
Out went the morning toast (and with it butter, marmalade and other things nice).
No more pancakes, waffles, sandwiches or dosas to start the day.
Rice was banished from the plate.
No more packed rotis for lunch, no more sizzling hot parathas filled with starch.
The occasional samosa in office, the satisfaction of cream-filled cookies, the joy of colleagues' treats -- alas, no more.
I usually steered clear of puddings, but now it was bye-bye to croissants and chocolates too.
No more cheese, no more crackers.
But food -- or the lack of it -- was only half the battle won.
Having previously turned my back on gymming, I opted for the very thing I'd been avoiding -- the walk, which now became a very long walk.
I woke early in the morning to walk before the sun made it difficult, and again at night, all of it without anyone's coaxing.
The muscles ached, walking was mostly boring, but in a week I was down to my earlier weight and fitting into my new clothes with the old measurements.
My tailor showed his approval by raising his eyebrows.
Which brings me, now, to a crossroads. Having (almost) got used to doing without cereals, why go down that road again?
Should I replace walking with running?
Why not knock off a few more kilos and a couple of inches now that the desire for an amble has replaced that for cheesecake?
You'd think the family would be supportive, but they are sceptical instead.
"Are you sure you've lost weight, not just inches?" questioned my son.
"Why do you want to lose more weight?" asked my daughter.
"You mustn't avoid cereals," my wife suggested, "it'll cause your joints to swell."
"I'll manage it with yoga," I mocked her. I might too.