Monday, January 02, 2012

'Fat but happy' - my foot!

Every January millions of people around the world make the same old resolution: "I will lose weight.”

So it’s not surprising that bookshops too have a bunch of new releases on that very subject. Only this year, it’s not dieticians writing – it’s the dieters.

Ek taraf there is Yana Gupta with ‘How to love your body and get the body you love’. On the other, there is ‘Confessions of a Serial Dieter’ by Kalli Purie. And that’s the book I want to talk about today.

Because we all know supermodels do sad and desperate things to maintain their weight. It’s Kalli’s story I find more interesting, and more ‘real’.

Kalli’s confessions span the 3 years and 43 diets it took her to slim down from a peak of 103 kilos to 59 kgs. And it is not pretty. She recounts in grim and gross detail the effect of each diet, physically and emotionally.

What it is like to retire to your room every night with just a thermos of green tea (no dinner).

Survive for days on papaya and dahi (a miracle diet which also clears your stomach and skin).

Exactly where to place your fingers so you can puke out what you have eaten (a one week experiment with bilumia)

Honesty drips from every page and that is the chief selling point of the book.

But, while many of us struggle with weight issues, few of us get so obsessed. The determination to fit into a particular dress to attend a particular wedding is commendable, but is it really necessary?

If you drop from 100 kgs to 68 kgs, do you still need to go on a ‘champagne diet’ to cover the last mile to ‘size perfect’ ? The fashion police and the social police say so. And the media perpetuates the idea.

Silk may flaunt tummy tyres in the ‘Dirty Picture’ but don’t miss Ekta Kapoor giving interviews in a new, slim avatar.

Or the fact that Nigella Lawson herself has given up butter to go the bikini way. (Et tu Nigella... what are mere mortals to do?)

In an ideal world, Kalli Purie uses her media empire to change mindsets. In the real world, she just puts herself through hell and joins the gang of skinnies.

Kalli’s book is not a how-to manual. Because every body is unique and what worked for her, may or may not work for you. But you certainly can get motivated by her zeal.

Kind of like ‘it’s hard, but if I want it badly enough, I can do it too’.

My takeaway is that each of us must face our own demons and conquer them. For someone, weight loss may be the biggest challenge in life, for another it may be a financial goal, or finding the right career.

So spend this year tracking your demon down and beating it to death... Who knows, you just might be able to spin a book out of the experience!

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