Kanchana Banerjee on her Weight loss Journey
If you decide to lose it, you must be prepared to really lose it.
What am I talking about? Losing weight and losing your sanity. Yes, the two go hand in hand, rather are two sides of the same coin. Don’t be fooled by what others tell you; take it from someone who’s been there, lost it and trying to rein it in.
In less than 4 months, I lost 7 kg. To many, that’s not much, but for me it is. I know I will lose more in the months ahead and it will be slower than what it has been but that’s because I have consciously decided I wouldn’t be bat crazy about it.
I didn’t need to stand on any weighing machine to tell me I was overweight.
My clothes had been telling as the seams strained, threatening to burst. If I’m going, to be honest, let’s just spill it all. When I arrived in Gurgaon in the winter of 2013, I was 71 kg. While even that wasn’t the ideal weight but I’m tall and broad-boned; so that was ok. Just before I began my diet in September 2017, the weighing scale groaned and yelled at 80 kg. I’d developed excruciating pain in the heels, my knees were stiff and thyroid was spiralling. I needed to lose it for health reasons, but these reasons had been staring me in the face for a while now and I had done nothing about it.
Around 10th September 2017, I went to Kolkata to visit my parents. Few uncles and aunts teased me and said, I was looking like a pucca ginni. To translate, Ginni, means a prosperous Bhabhi or healthy, wealthy housewife who eats and sleeps. The smile froze and refused to thaw for the rest of the trip. On the way from my mom’s house to the airport to catch the return flight to Gurgaon, I called the dietician whose number had been lying on my mobile for weeks.
Throughout the festivities, I stuck to my diet like a newly-wed clings to her husband. I hit the gym with fierce gusto. I was a woman with a mission; the mission is to salvage my image.
Durga Pujo, the annual festival of Bengalis more known for the gastronomic delights than anything religious, was a week away. Friends and family suggested that I start the diet post-Durga Pujo and Diwali, but my mind was made up.
I am 46, mom to 3 boys – Rohan, Archie and Casper – but I didn’t want to be called ginni by my uncles and aunts. It was now or never. Somewhere beneath the fatty folds lies a very determined and stubborn mind. The best way to get me to do something is to tell me not to do it. I will certainly do it.
It’s with great pride I tell all and sundry that I controlled my gluttonous appetite. Stayed away from fish fries, biryanis and even if I had some, I took only tiny bites. Throughout the festivities, I stuck to my diet like a newly-wed clings to her husband. I hit the gym with fierce gusto. I was a woman with a mission; the mission is to salvage my image.
I told everyone I was doing it to cure the heel and knee and thyroid; yes, that was the reason but not the whole truth. I wanted to feel good, young and sexy. Judge me, laugh at me, but I am not ready to be slotted as a ginni. Being fat shammed did the what aching heel and blood tests couldn’t do.
Believe me when I tell you that when you have to munch on carrots to curb hunger, have fish prepared in a microwave as lunch and a dinner of bran flakes and milk; you can’t do it for anyone else.
So, as I steadfastly stuck to my diet and exercise regime, my friends teased me. So, who are you exercising for? Someone you met on Twitter?? Believe me when I tell you that when you have to munch on carrots to curb hunger, have fish prepared in a microwave as lunch and a dinner of bran flakes and milk; you can’t do it for anyone else. Maybe George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but no such invitations awaited me. You can do it only for yourself. Only if you want to do. Only if you reach a point of disgust and tell yourself, I just want to feel and look better.
Judge me if you want. Narcissistic it is but it’s only self-love that can make you begin walking on this path. And to keep walking and staying on the path; well, that’s a whole new challenge in itself.
There’s a very thin line between sanity and losing it.
When I started losing weight, I didn’t realise that soon I will begin to lose something else too. My sanity. I got upset with my husband for planning a trip to Amritsar. How mean and insensitive is the man, I thought! Planning to take me to the city of parathas, mutton kulcha and butter chicken; does he not know that I’m on a diet! When friends invited us for dinner, my first thought was how much I would put on because of the wine and dinner! I am very social. I love my friends. I love food and uhhm…my wine too. But the very mention of an evening out, I began counting calories.
For the uninformed and those who have just been rescued from an uninhabited island; Bijoli Grill and Oh! Calcutta is to Bengali is where the Holy Grail rests.
Did I tell you that the first thing I do every morning is weigh myself? Yes. Now I have officially lost it. Both my sanity and my weight. Yay! For the latter, thumbs down for the former. Yesterday we went out for lunch to Bijoli Grill. For the uninformed and those who have just been rescued from an uninhabited island; Bijoli Grill and Oh! Calcutta is to Bengali is where the Holy Grail rests. After a binge fest at the aforementioned restaurant, I decided to skip dinner. I do this often when I’ve had a heavy and indulgent lunch. I suffer from a migraine and mine is triggered by acidity which results from long gaps between meals. When I decided to skip dinner, I knew I would wake up the next day with a skull-crushing headache but then…jaan jaye but weight nahin increase hona chahiyee!
My dietician was hopeful that given my drive I would be yet another trophy case for her to showcase.
Someone who would lose 15 kg in 4 months, but as I always say, I’m crazy but sane enough to keep my crazy on a tight leash. So, I pulled myself back and slowed down. I’m managing my diet, exercising every day (have begun to really enjoy that) and try not to think my life is ruined every time I get a dinner invite or my husband plans a trip out of town. So, some sanity still prevails. But there’s one thing I want to say and let me say it quick. The picture along with this article is an old one, ahem! A fatty pic from the yore. I look different now. Dear God! I have so lost it. Please save me from me!
Picture Credit: pressks.com
Kanchana Banerjee published her first book A Forgotten Affair with Harper Collins in 2016. She is working on her second novel and is the editor of a reading app.