Between Mindy Kaling and Brooke Birmingham, they really ruined it for me. I was working towards this grand finale, when I would announce to y’all “Look at ME, I am a Size Right”. I wanted to lose the last two vanity pounds, reach my goal, and then post the before and after pictures. Alas, looks like I left it too late.
All those discussions around Shape magazine’s refusal to publish Brooke’s photograph without airbrushing, despite her remarkable success story, (She lost 170 pounds, in case you’re wondering) led the media pundits to discover ( Eureka!) that women should be proud of their body image regardless of shape and size. And suddenly, almost overnight, “before and after pictures” became politically incorrect. “Who’s the Biggest Loser” was declared a poor way to motivate weight loss. The super talented Mindy, in her inimitable style revealed that she is a perfectly normal size 8, and called out journalists for giving her backhanded compliments about “being successful despite her size”. Even Monica Lewinsky jumped in to fight fat shaming. Yeah, the last two months were not good for the weight loss industry, and their slightly frightening advertisements featuring Barbie look-alikes.
This well-intentioned battle for respecting body diversity spares you from my bikini photos. But I do want to share some cool stuff that I discovered as part of my year-long weight loss journey, in my quest to beat asthma and to wear that turquoise skirt in my daughter’s closet. So here goes:
- The experts will tell you that you need a deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat. Don’t be fooled to think that it means that you can eat an additional 3500 calories before putting on one pound.
- The Weight Watchers online database has quite a few ethnic foods and that saves calorie counting. With one billion Indian voters, why am I even surprised that there were so many entries?!
- Low carb is effective, and you can actually get used to diet of poultry and lentils. But going overboard on a high protein diet will cause acidity and wooziness. The end state is ketosis, when the body preferentially burns fat instead of carbohydrates. Though dangerous, ketosis is said to lead to Buddha-like enlightenment. I admit I was tempted.
- Good news: Eat heartily for a couple of days to get past a plateau in weight loss. This cheats the body into believing that there is lots of food coming in and that there’s no need to horde.
- There will always be thinner women. Some of these thin privileged will continue to call you aunty even if they are just a couple of years younger. When that happens, think of it as your good deed of the day.
- Murphy’s Law of Jeans: Whatever your current size, the stores will have jeans of all sizes except that one.
- Unlike what the photos of celebrities would lead you to believe, you will not lose weight proportionately. You will reacquaint with your wrist bone, collar bone, and tail bone (this one really hurts) long before the belly fat drops an inch.
- The mirror is not your friend. It will either hide the positive change you’ve accomplished or unerringly lead your eye to the permafrost on your back. (Corollary: Self-esteem is not a function of weight.)
- It will become even more difficult to convince some people that you are a senior professional woman. (Their eyes will betray the unspoken question “Who was your sugar daddy?”).
- The gym enthusiasts will probably make me rue this, but I affirm that walking helps weight loss more than gym routines.
That gets me to the point: in case anyone is interested in knowing details such as additions , eliminations and reductions from diet and life style, please leave a comment on this post and I will share more information. Besides, I did lose over 30 pounds in the course of the last one year; I reckon I am entitled to some legitimate bragging.