Mind over matter


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Mind over matter

by Bisma Tirmizi on May 17th, 2011

It happens on the sly the struggle begins, the struggle stays and the struggle continues, until death do us part. It is the battle with the last ten pounds that is almost unwinnable. I have not met a woman who is satisfied with her current weight.
Have you?
Every Monday morning dawns with a promise of a new week, a new resolution: three weeks down, I will be five pounds lighter. Gone are the weeks and we all look the same. And then I ponder on the bygones, shedding a few pounds required less than hard work, but once the 35 candles are crossed and the advent of post-childbirth, then the game, as they say, is over.
Slow metabolism, bad diet, mild exercise and stress, not to mention the genetic lottery, a perfect recipe for disaster its a wonder that women are ever able to look reasonably fit, what with ballooning yo-yo pregnancies, one, two, three and sometimes four, five and six.
As I sit and write this I steal a look at the three scrumptiously crumbly cookies staring at me and then casually glance at the summer dress, frock as they say in English, I wore for a Mothers Day lunch last week. A little bit of simple math and biology, and we have a winner. I see the real me a woman with three biscuits, chai and a summer dress. A nightcap like that will not give me a svelte figure in three weeks, the equation needs to be rearranged, or better still, re-written.

And then the realisation: Im not heavy, its the teenage body image issue haunting me, some 26 years down and I am still fighting the same bloody battle. I remember the khasta zeera biscuits from Crispo bakery. Eating a few would not have made me fat, but a few decades ago no amount of convincing would have changed my conviction. The guilt from the teenage years has become a habit and comes gnawing, eating me and the biscuits all at once.
If memory serves me right, I was a pretty fit young thing. My clothes, eastern and western took great shape on me, but the dissatisfied body image gripped the mind in a mind lock. There was no escape. At 51 and 102 lbs, complete confidence in the lean muscle vs. fat battle should have been a non-issue. But no such luck then; let alone now, when the age and measurements are less than desirable.
On closer introspection and a wee bit reality check I acknowledge that it was not possible to gain seven pounds with a single halwa puri nashta 20 years ago, the mere assumption was mathematically incorrect, but who could have logically explained it to a nineteen-year-old? I may have the common sense to understand the same now, but tragically there is no halwa puri nashta in sight.
Mothers day is a beautiful thing, besides the heartfelt handmade cards and priceless hugs and kisses; it reminds us why we gained ten pounds with the birth of each child. Why most of us can never go back to the pre-pregnancy weight. For each of us the answer to that question may be different, for some satisfactory, for others maybe not.
And then comes the age-old fantasy, the magic formula for weight loss, weight loss, like most battles, is all about mind control, tell your mind to put in less (food) and put out (exert physically) a little more, and the battle may just become a little easier to win. Easier said then done!
All this introspection gives us clear choices, get in shape, hang out with unfit people, stop the love affair with biscuits, or acknowledge the reality of the lazy self and fight the battle hard, once and for all. Maybe this time rise to win the war, no liposuction, no gastric bypass, no fad diets just a simple mathematical equation; enjoy where youre at on the scale, eat less, exercise more, and the weight will eventually get lost, pun intended. Harness the galloping mind to stay on track and finally just do it!
Bisma Tirmizi is a writer based in Las Vegas
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