Each morning I mount and dismount on the weighing machine repeatedly in a hope that it would change its stand and settle upon a little less (may be by 0.1or 0.2 Kg) than the previous day’s weight! But no! My weighing machine seems to be inspired by Salman Khan telling me” Ek baar jo weight maine bata diya to main khud ki bhi nahi sunti!”
This reminds me of my poor old analogue weighing machine which I bought two months after my daughter was born. After weighing myself on it for the first time, I declared it faulty. I was pretty sure that after the delivery I had lost a lot of weight and couldn’t be weighing 8 kg more than the pre pregnancy weight! But when my mother in law said,” it might be correct! You are looking fatter!” I was shocked. I tried my best to prove the machine wrong by weighing myself at other places, from fancy looking machines with a colourful wheel fitted on top installed outside posh shops, to the street vendor sitting with a weighing machine at lower bazar Shimla charging one rupee, but after spending many one rupee coins in these fruitless rituals, I had to accept that it was not possible for all the weighing machines in the world to conspire against me and show excess weight simply to upset me. So I had to come out of denial mode and accept that I had put on weight! I decided to venture into the weight loss journey little knowing that this is a journey where you never reach the destination!
I made a routine of daily evening walk and was able to reduce 4 kg of weight in few months, but that was all! The weighing machine seemed to have stuck at one point with a vow to never go below that reading. When my son was born after few years, I got a greater shock by the machine (showing 10 kg more than the pre pregnancy weight) as this time I was on bed rest for three months preceding the delivery. Again, the same journey started with the only difference that the machine increased the threshold by 2 kg. By this time, I had also concluded that the machine might be showing zero error (one of the very few useful terms taught in science education) and kept on adjusting zero again and again till I got the desired result.
I never realized that this little adjustment had gone to the extent of misappropriation of 2-3 kg until once I took my weight on a digital weighing machine at a relative’s place and was shocked by the results!
I decided that it was time to buy a digital weighing machine as the analogue machine was showing misleading results (not my fault, I simply adjusted the needle to show the zero correctly, I never forced it to show less weight)!
But alas! This “satyawadi harishchandra” digital machine has transformed my life in a manner where a difference of 0.1 can break or make my mood! Unlike the poor analogue machine, it never succumbs to the pressure of the person taking weight and sticks to the first reading irrespective of the number of times you weigh yourself! But may be the movement during mounting and dismounting on the machine or the breathing pattern makes a difference or if the machine is in a mood to bargain, it reduces the initial reading by 0.1 kg. Expecting a favour of more than 0.1 kg from it is a wishful thinking!
I suddenly realized that I was not the only one pursuing the machine to change its reading, as over the years; my husband had also gained more than 15 kg and joined me in weight loss journey. He could also be seen struggling in the mornings with the weighing machine!
On the positive side, this digital machine inspired us to get up early in the morning and go for the walks. Yes, we did indulge in oily food many a times, but the next morning the machine used to take away all the joy of late night parties leaving us repenting. To my surprise, my husband reduced 15 kg of weight through one year of consistent efforts (copying me in every step I took), even though my weight still kept hovering in the same range! I can’t call my weight loss efforts as fruitless, as with tireless efforts there are times when I have been able to reduce up to 2-3 kg of weight, but even a week’s holiday is sufficient to bring back the lost weight!
Desperate to achieve the desired weight, I once visited a dietician who gave me a diet chart. I was delighted to find a section in this chart containing the foods which could be consumed in unlimited quantity, but was disappointed to note that to enjoy these foods in unlimited quantity; you need to take an avatar of either rabbit or goat!
First week went by and I was able to shed 0.5 kg of weight, but in the next week, rather than reducing, my weight increased by 0.1 kg. When I told this to the dietician on my next visit, she asked me if I had broken any of the diet rules. I honestly told her that the only exception to the prescribed diet was half samosa which I had eaten in an office function (that too outer layer only leaving the potatoes intact). She seemed to be relieved while breaking the whole theekra of weight gain on the poor samosa,” tabhi aapka weight badh gaya!”
While resolving to stop paying the lady for simply handing over a list of tasteless foods and at the same time making me feel guilty for eating even half samosa, I accepted the fact that the weight loss can neither be achieved through diet nor exercise, it can be achieved through will power only (which I lose on encountering my favourite food). The other gyaan I got in all these years is weight loss can never be a onetime exercise; it has to be a lifelong journey!
I have still not given up on this journey which has no destination. Morning walks and balanced diet are continuing, and so is the constant tussle with the weighing machine.
Our mood in the morning is determined by the weighing machine and my husband and I can easily guess from each other’s mood whether the reading is on the plus side or minus side. If one of us is smiling and gets up for the milkman without waking up the other, the other one asks,” bade khush lag rahe ho! weight kam ho gaya kya?” on the other hand if one partner is lying down on bed with an upset mood talking in sarcastic tone, it gives rise to the question,” kyon subah subah lad rahe ho, weight badh gaya kya?
Though I may curse my weighing machine for spoiling my mood, I have to admit that it has helped me maintain the weight within 10% of my original weight. Sometimes, I get a compliment that I have not put on too much weight (though only from the friends who themselves have put on too much weight over the years) to which I feel like replying, “You may say so but the fact is I am trying to reduce the same 2-4 kgs for the past 17 years!”