Freaked out about fitness

I have many pet phobias.  It’s not as if I love collecting them.  They land from nowhere and get terribly attached to me.  As I grew older and wiser, they altered in character and shape.  From tail-dropping lizards to cobwebs on walls to the fear of having nothing to do – I have been through them all.   The newest entrant to this exclusive club is my phobia of getting fat.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against fat people as long as I don’t have to share a seat with them.  They are usually a jolly good species and can devour bucketfuls of fried chicken minus the guilt pangs.  An extra inch on two blends in harmoniously with their wide girth. Secretly I envy them.  It is me I have a problem with.  You see, I was born with a manufacturing defect.  I have wrists so thin that bangles slide down my arms like an avalanche in a hurry.  Europe doesn’t make shoes my size.  My dainty frame allows me no concession for extra kilos.  And to make it worse that stupid gulab jamun (ok make that two) I sometimes succumb to makes its way to my cheeks!   

Imagine your embarrassment when a more than well endowed Mashi of yours sizes you up and says...Aahh P has become fat!  Secretly you are sputtering with rage and dying to bellow How dare you call me fat! When was the last time you checked yourself in the mirror... you stupid Cow!  With your appetite buried deep underground, you barely touch anything at the party, while your dear Mashi’s face is strategically hidden behind the mountain of Biryani she’s ingesting.

I wrote all these lines to justify my passionate love affair with fitness.  Why my life seems incomplete if don’t get to run on the treadmill.  Why everything seems pointless if don’t raise my toes to the ceiling. Why I think I might die if I miss even one day of my fitness regime. I have tumbled down the stairs and still gone for my morning walk.  A bleeding knee, an aching back, a neck that scarcely moves are no impediment for me to huff and puff. 

 My family insists that even if our house is on fire I will rush to the gym murmuring Darlings I will be back in 45, I’m sure you can manage till then!  

Twenty years back, had someone looked at the crystal ball and predicted that I will be a fitness fiend, I would have laughed at her face.  Physical exercise and I could never see eye to eye.  In school I made sure I bunked all my phys-ed classes. I played badminton just to shut my sports freak dad up.  I was more into activities that did not disturb the rhythm of my assorted body parts – with friends.  My brother would take care of my cardio. All I had to do is a crack a joke at his expense and he would make me run all around the house.  My Mum’s eardrums would reverberate with my loud shrieks. 

That girl who could demolish a box of chocolates in one sitting, the woman who had to have ice cream everyday during her pregnancy, is a stranger to me now. 

Do I curse myself for favouring a healthier lifestyle? Not really, in fact I am quite proud of it. And it’s not as if I munch on carrots & seeds all through day and barf at the sight of ice creams.  I still can’t live without my daily dark chocolate fix and binge on weekends.   

What irks me is, when your close ones, who are well aware of your aversion to oil drenched delicacies, will still insist on plying you with it.  Myths are woven around your so called diet and you are projected as a fat-hating ninja.   Dear God, now that you’ve had a pastry, will you be running for an hour on the treadmill!    You smile even as you are trying to shove that sickeningly sweet cream in your mouth.  Be damned if you do, be damned if you don’t. 

And what I don’t understand is why certain people project their cholesterol loving and exercise shirking ways, as an act of bravado.   I am glad you can have four paranthas for breakfast with dollops of butter and still be alive and kicking.  Great that exercise bores you and your idea of cardio is walking to the fridge to get yourself a beer.  But don’t tch tch when I tell you I prefer cereals for breakfast and sigh in sympathy at my yoga-loving ways.  I am old enough to decide what’s right for me and don’t need your unsolicited advice. 

I fail to understand why most of us are so eager to project ourselves as the coolest and insist their way is the right way. Like the ridiculous Madrasi v/s Punjabi duel on blogosphere.  Should self-esteem always be at the cost of someone else’s sense self worth?  

Yes, I suffer from guilt pangs when I reach out for another slice of Brownie. I can’t remember the last time I had a samosa and I don’t miss it.  But at least I don’t crib about my extra kilos as I tuck in Aloo Kachori.  And don’t you worry, I will be the last one to call you fat.  I don’t have the need to make you look bad to feel good about myself.


  1. You and your exercise regime. Morning Gym around 7. And Yoga at 10 (Yoga pfffft). I will always scoff at yoga :P
    You eat oily stuff??? :O I though you only ate "Bina Tel Wala Thepla" and "Steamed Momos" :P ...ok you eat Shammi Kebab from Wengers and Fish Rolls too.
    Anyway, some people scoff at the healthy lifestyle, while some act like Gym Nazis. Everything done in moderation is good, even the odd binging. As they say, eat anything and everything you want to and exercise/play.

  2. :) I love my punjabi makhhan, desi ghee ke gulab jamun, kheer with khhob sara mava and alooo ke paranthe :)

    I need to hunt down my sports bra now, for I must go for a run too....

  3. On the +ve side, there's a growing trend of ppl accepting that right eating and exercise are much cooler than adding layers of prosperity around you. However these random aunts/uncles won't cease to exist, who can never shed their several years of kilos try as they might, and who won't stop at an opportunity to say "oh she's dietinggg... thaaat's why". I too love my binges... anything for begian dark chocolate brownie with ice cream after an hour of aerobics ;-)

  4. I just can't picture myself trying to look away from that Rasgulla and not going for that 2nd Rasmalai. :(

    I've always planned to start running from next month.

  5. I relate, I relate, I joined gym 4 days back and ask me about fitness mania :P

  6. Grrr..i take offense. My tyres take offense. Gymming starts tmrw! Decided!

  7. Ahem. Wait. YOU were called fat?

    Clearly the definition of being plump has changed and that too to a great degree. Everybody can't be larger-than-life!

    It's time we DID something. It's time we joined forces and made others eat roshagullas and chocolate-rice-sprinkled thick brownies with a generous coating of hot chocolate fudge to .. umm .. uhh .. what was I talking about?

    Aaah forget it.

  8. I'm all for a healthier lifestyle and I admire you for have the grit to stick to a regime.

    As for me I would rather tuck into my 5th bar of Crackle today rather than look at a treadmill in the eye:P
    Maybe someday I'll decide I really need to do something about the weight and the health and become this focused.
    If I don't die of diabetes first, that is:D

  9. I didnt read it full..i read those two para n thought ohh i wish to write like u gave tht gulab jamun a company by makin thm two..the way u did tht..i want to use all those tiny tricks :(..i envy al u writers fr tht..even when i read some book i feel lyk oh! I shud write like he writes!!i wud lyk to knw the course u followed to become such a tricky writer?? Wht u read like 5 newspapers a day or some dozens of novels or its ur some college degree which make u tht creative or its just the creativity which i lack? :O ..wel u write great..useles to say tht coz its always been :)
    wel nw i wud complete readin :)

  10. Snow...Exactly! extremities are never pleasant. In fact they stress you out.

    Chintan...Enjoy it while it lasts.

    Ambika...HA! exercise makes you hungrier and I can't let go of my salty cravings.

  11. Pzes...Geez...just because I write about fitness doesn't mean you need to start running :p

    Serendipity...Just don't over do it and end up with an injury.

    Red Handed...I know exercise can get boring but gives you a high when you fit into those jeans again.

  12. Kartikay...And when I remind them of their past follies, they claim complete ignorance with You were never fat ...Grrrr
    And you can have ANYTHING and not worry about it.

    Priyanka...Now is the age when you can enjoy your crackle sans the guilt.

    blinded locations...Seeing you on this blog after a long time. All of us have our special gifts. And I could write a book on things I can never get right.

  13. Haha. Just devoured some ice cream. Thanks for reminding me about it!

  14. Each one, his and let live!

  15. Most of the lard incinerating populace will relate to this experience strumming piece. An effort to get a colleague follow a fitness regime backfired, his wit laced retort... 'round is a shape and I am in shape'. well, confounding, but...true.

  16. can i give you one unsolicited advice?
    OK not an advice, just a suggestion...I have this fitness cycle that I haven't used for 1yr....I can TRADE that with you for some extra MEAL!...see I luv Trade-meal too.... :P

  17. Purba- Go ahead with your fitness regimen as you will have the last laugh at those who take a dig at you today!!

  18. Aha! Someone has had a weekend 'bash' with assorted Mashis eh? This was closest to a rant that you have written Purba. I will ask the L&M to read this since he is the fitness freak in this family. In the meanwhile go ahead and gorge on whatever you want and feel free to refuse other stuff that you don't fancy. It is your body and health and as you have rightly pointed out, you know what is good for you.

  19. How should it matter to anyone else if you want to diet,workout or eat healthy? Unless and until you are not dieting to the point of anorexia no one needs to worry.
    I wish I could say that I'm able to resist my urge for samosas.Sigh.
    You are doing great.

    P.S: Mashi's are the forceful-cannot-retaliate-with-a-scowl version of mothers :D.

  20. Kartikay...Thanks for rubbing it in :p

    Ana-treek...Like they say opinions are like a%&%&*# everyone has one :)

    the mind behind the mindless lampoons .....Hahaha....round is a shape indeed.

  21. SUB...I need an extra room as well, can I get it complimentary with your excer-cycle? And you"ll get a complimentary glass of wine with your meal.

    Rahul...I have been married to fitness for over a decade now :)

    Zephyr...Elders in your family are so used to bullying you that all reasoning falls flat :(
    And looking forward to reading about L&M's fitness fixation.

  22. Whoa-way to go...I could sense the simmering annoyance there.
    I watch with so much amusement when some of my thin-pin friends are remarked to-'Why do you exercise so much-aise to gaayab ho jaaoge kisse din? Make sure you don't fly away with the wind!' Hehe, when the reality is that they are all jealous!

    As long as one does not reach the undernourished zone-it is great to be so passionate about your health. Keep going and never mind that samosa missing you-people who view you won't;-)

    Loooooooooooved the closing statement!:-)

  23. Hi,

    I can understand your irritation! People generally comment like this when something about you is making them feel insecure.

    Being a heavy woman, I've always been on the other side of this though. People whom I barely know think it's their god given right to "worry about my health" . I'd like to tell them (but generally don't) that Im fat, not entirely by choice,but I'm not blind and/or stupid, have a few mirrors around the house and that unless they're paying for it, the food I consume and the exercise I do or don't is none of their business!

    Just a slight quibble with your views about fat people being jolly and not minding a few inches here or there, some of us arn't and if we lose even 2 kgs it makes us very happy :D

  24. Should self-esteem always be at the cost of someone else’s sense self worth?
    - Thats exactly what has been gong through my mind for the last few days :)
    Dont worry I love my morning walks too :) I wld most probably go on mine even if the house was on fire :P

  25. Blue Lotus...Seniors in your family use their age as a license to give unsolicited advice :D

    Suruchi...Exactly...just because you care a damn doesn't mean being passionate about your health is a crime.

    MRC...I know how annoying it can get when people you barely know pass comments on your expanding girth and insist on giving you free advice.

    And point taken - all of us are more than happy to loose a kilo or two :)

  26. Its all about ones definition of Enjoyment Purba.
    As long as the happiness derived is much more one can shake all digs off .
    Let love of Moving reign. Not Duty and not guilt but a wiser way of seeing.

  27. Now that was strong. It was a 'fit' post; and a fitting one when you talk about your yoga-loving ways. I have nothing against yoga, but I do think good food is the key to fitness. Of course, I'm too young to comment on the fitness regime of a mother but I must say, way to go, Di. You should not give in to fattening mashis. :P :D

  28. Ruchira...Fitness is all about discipline. If someone is constantly making excuses, why bother?

    Varsha...I took a cue from your blog and now focus on weights :)

    D2...I have done it all...from brisk pumping iron. Yoga is the latest entrant :)

  29. you don't know what jealousy you haev drawn from girls when you say that you were quite slim when young!
    that said, its great if you follow your fitness routine and more so if you believe in it :) all the best :)

  30. Hmm, you're story is inspiring. Would you please please tell me how you happened to become a fitness lover from the kind of person you used to be? Because I try to make the transition but it never seems to happen. I always quit after a few weeks :-(

  31. A grain of sand...Err.. I am still slim :)

    Sumitra....Your really want to know? Give yourself three months and exercise like a woman possessed. Keep changing your routine if it gets boring. Once you see the results, there"ll be no looking back :)

  32. Err...(in that case)some more jealousy :P:D

  33. you are inspiring :)
    Though..I am not fat..(I think..)..But i am not slim.. (i know)..but..what I feel good about it is..I have the physical stamina to play, walk, trek for long hours...I recently completed...25 km trek..mostly uphill...and I wasn't sure..if I would be able to do it...but...I still think...nothing rejuvenates like a healthy food and healthy lifestyle...way to go.. :)
    Stay fit. Stay happy

  34. Seriously people & there big F****** mouth. Can't keep it to themselves, can they. If u put on a little weight u get to here, "Ki Rituparna arre control hocche naa?" from some idiotic dick. Mind ur own business dude, n I'll mind my weight or food. I love my food & exercise. N I dn't believe ne1 has a right to tell me what's right n wrong, an't I old enough. N if u tell them about a diet, Oh my my .... I'll tune off before my comment becomes bigger than ur post. Go run on tht treadmill n do yoga, n let the rest of them yuck ...

  35. Well Mashi ji is just trying to invite you to her gang of fat people. Don't take her words too seriously.
    You've been missing out on those delicious samosas for too long, go on and have a few with the chutney of your choice. Treadmills can wait, and so can fat. That you've been using too much of your intellect, I guess, the brain would take care of burning all that extra fat for you.

    Do chocolates add up into fat? I never knew. I thought dark chocos build grey matter and supposed it to be the secret behind your wit.

    You are not fat until you find yourself difficult to carry around. So, till then, keep feasting. Fasting might come later. :P

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  36. i used to be chubby as a i try to avoid over eating now..umm sometimes ;)

  37. Three cheers for a fit and fab Purba!!!

  38. A grain of sand...:))

    Kunal...25 kms of an uphill trek is some achievement! Hats off to you.

    Rituparna...Well wishers sometimes take their role too seriously. We all lead a myopic existence - blind to our own follies but blinding clarity towards others failings.

  39. Anshul....LoL...I am sneaking in Bangla lessons through my blog. Not a big fan of somosa though and prefer the Bengali version. Have you ever had it?

    Rahul...Once a foodie always a foodie! Let's raise a toast to that.

    Giribala....*Hip* *Hip* Hurray :D

  40. Thanks a lot for hitting right where it hurts the most!!After sleeping with the thought under my pillow and leaving it right there in the morning for many months,this is exactly what I needed.A whack!I have a feeling you came up with this brilliant post after reading my old posts on my fitness woes(that makes me one of 'them')
    Best way to learn swimming is to be pushed into the deep treadmill it is after work :D
    ps-Do this more often please.

  41. chuckling at the way your brother took care of your cardio excercises. :)

  42. Another great post :)
    and definitely what matters most in the end is staying healthy and happy in ur own skin and letting others be happy in and let live:D


  43. Sigh you make me feel so self-conscious. I hated physical ed classes with a passion in school. The only reason I got a qualifying grade in that one was because I did a yoga pose properly and sang my phys ed teacher a classical song on the day of the exam. That impressed her and did not lose me an all-section rank. Whew! Now all I do is yoga and a few few sit-ups. And I avoid oily food, but damn I just had spicy noodles right about an hour back. More yoga tomorrow! :(

  44. Sharmila....Hahah...I know a routine which makes you run, steep climb, pump iron is not exactly exhilarating :)

    Rekha...Thank you


  45. Samadrita..You are a young girl! Enjoy your blackforest pastry sans the guilt.

    Sarah...And exercise releases endorphins - the feel good hormone.

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  47. I get more like Congress against BJP, when it comes to people giving me diet-teary advice.... I am not a health freak, but my antipathy towards junk food makes people think i am!

    and then comes the advice "you should try everything in life". So, the next time i see them i'll be on Marijuana and probably i can also try banging their head! because, i should try everything....:P

  48. Purba,

    As one ages, need to regulate intake and exercise is a must though not to be phobia. A well regulated life is what it should be. Avoiding vehicles for short distances, like visits to markets, or climbing stairs can work well apart from regular morning walks.

    Take care

  49. Rasheed...Sure

    indigenou...Sounds familiar. Even as a stick thin girl I used to hate puris and had to put up with "oh you are on a diet" jibes :)

    Jack...Yep but Gurgaon is not exactly pedestrian friendly.

  50. the same reaction when people tell me that I am losing my hair :( ...

  51. FAT??? what is that :D :D :D.. with an ever changing fitness regime I am totally in love with my weight..hopefully my family doesnt mind changing the doors for me :) :)

  52. Purba, very well expressed! And God! u haven't had a samosa for a long time?! have one, be it the bengali version. Was reading ur reply to Anshul... even i didn't know there was a Bengali version.

    I think it's much need to be fit at this time of life style related ailments.

    All the best for ur health regime!


  53. flawsophy...As if you are asking for it!

    Sukupedia...Hahahah...its a state of mind, isn't it?

    Restless....Was never fond of Samosa or kachori. And I believe if I really have to waste my calories, I'd rather have something I like :)

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