Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sins of the flesh - being fat in an anorexic city

Looking at thin women I have often felt what the starved might feel at a banquet they were not invited to. In short mortally hungry, dissatisfied, depressed and neglected.

It is very hard being fat in a city of plateau chested, thin waisted women, where fancy under wear is for the under sized.

Years of attempted diets have made me a crack philosopher - if you have it, flaunt it, but do keep a friend handy to set up bail. Having said that, I also admit that nothing sharpens your sarcasm like sour grapes. 

There are thousands of us out there doing the same thing every day. Cutting out on dinner, having two meager meals for six days and gorging on pizza and biriyani on the seventh. 

Most say it's a battle of the bulge, shadow boxing with an expanding hip and paunch. What it mostly is, is an ongoing fight with insecurity and demons imposed by curvaceous women who look at you with such overt sympathy in their eyes that you want to crawl into a hole and pull it in after you.

So what is it like living in an anorexic city? I have woken up every single morning for the last two years promising to go slow on the rice and egg curry. And yet, with the first hunger pang my genetic make-up modifies, the nervous system sort of gets re-wired and all well meaning signals to my brain shuts down, until it's too late.

There have been stretches of two or three weeks when I have steeled my nerves to bolt down salads, have miraculously fitted into my old pair of pants and then like seasoned dope pushers have relapsed with the first biriyani. 

I have friends and acquaintances with slim body types who wear anything they want to and eat portions of food that would shame a bird. We the bulky, heavy and neglected gape at them like love struck adolescents, secretly envy them and hope they get pregnant soon so that they can become 'One of Us'.

After much deliberation I have come to realize that I am going to probably stay this way for ever and nothing I do will make much difference. So I have secretly developed an immunity to counter sarcasm and pity from size zeros. 

Humour always helps, I pepper it with a liberal dose of laughing at myself. I still cringe every time an old friend or colleague says "wow, you" But I never fail to add "I know!! I LOVE it that my assets are now bigger!!" 

I hate it when the best clothes come in dainty small sizes. And the ones that come in my size are like circus tents. I am uncomfortable at weddings where women wear chiffon that hug their bodies. Men almost always open a conversation with me with "Who's that friend of yours? Can you introduce us?"          

They never said it's going to be a laugh. And it isn't. But its really not that bad, this flab. It makes me freakishly strong too. I can twist open a cap of a bottle like a breeze. Men are more comfortable once they know they really do not need to waste their energy on me by preening up.

We look older than our age, which always daunts bouncers at pubs. 
It's not a bad deal. Really.


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