A potato’s guide to fitness

In terms of my career, I am heading towards a really good place in my life, and I couldn’t feel happier about it. I’m writing, reading and pretty much singing my days away- it somehow feels surreal. However, the only thing that has really always plagued my mind is ‘Weight loss’.  We live in a world where despite our best achievements, people love to still assess one by their skin- the more you have it, bigger the ‘loser’ you are with no sense of self-control. I’d been a big girl for almost as long as I can remember, but I don’t remember it bothering me as much when I was a child as it does now. Back then, I was a happy kid just eating, doing regular children things, and that’s about it- life was small, yet satisfying.

Growing up exposes us to the fancies and fallacies of the world, and it was then as if I had a brutal knock to my head, where my euphoria died and all I was left with was a big body with pretty much nothing else to look forward to. I was good with academics, but it didn’t matter, because everybody was deemed to have a flaw, and mine was my weight. I didn’t enjoy the compliments that people threw at me because most of them entailed carefully chosen words like, “that’s such a beautiful wallet. If only you could put it in the back of your denim pocket- you know, the way it was intended.” Everyday was tedious, and I was losing the glow that I thought made me “me”. I left no stone unturned on the internet to find out what was wrong with me and how I could magically cure myself with diets, gruelling workouts, green smoothies, mind-body techniques, and even flushing my body with just water. A negative romp filled my head, drawing myself away from all the amazing people I could have met, and the beautiful clothes that I could have tried. “Damn, it’s mirror time” was something I caught myself saying more often than ever. Long legs, chiselled arms, and eight-pack abs were all I could think about, but getting there was like saying “I’ll climb the Everest,” despite having a heart condition- it’s not impossible, but hard enough that you’ll often wonder if it is ever worth it.

Somehow, by conjuring that every last bit of strength in me, I tried to slim down and tone up, (I even did my little celebration dance) only to realise that I fed my body with greens and hearty salads, but ever-so-forgot to feed the soul. I lived with restrictions passing up on yummilicious food, satisfied with counting calories, and numbering the days till I smacked that 17th pound out of the park. But, I could somehow never associate a sense of heightened happiness when I was thin, and had the body that I had always wanted. Sure the compliments were great, but it was always as if I had lost who I was- the weird fat girl who hid behind her skin had vanished- like the Elves who helped the shoemaker.

A moment on the lips is a fantasy, especially when it is with chocolate mud gently caressing the soft mascarpone cream, stirring a dessert wedding in my palate. That’s the kind of thing that the soul needs, not a desperate inch-tape comparison of rounded hips, chubby knees or thunder thighs.  As much as I needed to go through this ‘weight transition’ for my health (which was by the way still at its pink best), I knew that deep down, all I wanted was to walk into a restaurant, order the Big Daddy of seven-tier chocolate cakes, eat in peace and not be judged. We all know that we need to be above the eclectic mix of eyebrow raises, “ahem, this is not your size” commentary, and sullen criticisms, but that’s not always possible in a “civilised society”. Our oomph and charisma lies in who we are and what we do more than how we look. There’s this little squeak inside us passing sermons that we ought to love ourselves more, and forgive the ones that don’t understand this proclamation of self-love- we ought to listen to that little squeak.

There’s this lovely quote by Woody Allen that goes like, “When we lose twenty pounds…we may be losing the best twenty pounds we have! We may be losing the pounds that contain our genius, our humanity, our love and honesty.” We are all in different sizes for a reason, for something that makes us who we are. A Potato is a Potato for a reason, and it can never be Kale. So, good news to you my fellow crispy potatoes- it seems there’s hope for us, after all!


46 thoughts on “A potato’s guide to fitness

  1. I know I disappear every now and then, and it’s really a pity because I’m sure I missed treasures from you… I will have to read all your posts that I missed.
    As with your first post that captured me, this is absolutely fantastic. I love how you write what you write. I have to officially make you my idol 😊 Love it! It’s Hollywood’s fault, I think. 😳 I love my cakes, too. My favorite! I can live on them – have cake for breakfast, tea time, lunch and dinner. I am quite capable of eating a whole chocolate ganache cake… And have done so before πŸ˜‚ Woody Allen could be right.. 😊

    1. Anne! I’ve missed you dearly πŸ™‚ Thank you immensely for those amazingly out-of-the-world compliments (I’m turning into a large shy beetroot out here). Ah the simple joys of cake, I definitely know what you mean πŸ˜€

      1. Ah, my pleasure. You know my admiration for you and your awesome talent! 😊 I will not be missing out a lot again… once I’m done with tax works for my employer πŸ˜‚
        I realized I had not checked out your profile so I did and that potato is absolutely right – you write damn well!

      2. Tax work. Aaah sounds frustrating πŸ˜€ Thanks a ton, Anne. I’m sure I’m not idol-worthy but I’m soo glad to receive such beautiful genuine compliments from you. I’m so humbled πŸ™‚

      3. Nothing sips away my writing creative juices faster than tax works so yeah, totally frustrating. And I really hope to write well, may not be as well as you do but that’s my aspiration 😊 So, darling, bask in the glory of deserved compliments ❀️ πŸ˜„

      4. Awww you’re too sweet. :* You write amazingly well, I have no doubt about that whatsoever πŸ™‚ I’m so humbled, thanks a ton πŸ™‚

      5. Ah, thank you.. 😊 I will do, even if not yet πŸ˜„ My pleasure really. I’ll be waiting for the next posts. Have a wonderful day!

  2. Satisfying and very uplifting!
    I think weight loss and body-shaming are things everyone can identify with. I personally had gained some weight in the past few years but have worked towards losing the extra flab and feel far more positive about my body now. As for the potato, it can be in any shape it wants. No restrictions on size or shape for the potato, remember?
    BTW, you’ve again been absent for sooooo long. What’s with the abstaining? And congratulations for the contentment with your career. All the best.

    1. That’s true, buddy. Flabby potato is working towards it, but just doesn’t understand the hoopla the whole world gives about the process πŸ˜€ Haha, it’s like I keep hibernating and resurfacing every now and then πŸ˜› Sadly ironical- I began my writing career by blogging and now have hardly any time left for it. I’m going to set realistic word count and blog targets for the forthcoming months and ensure I’ll stick to it. Deal? πŸ˜€

      1. I think it’s a fad with thinness and the way it has warped our notions of beauty. And with the amount of body-shaming on print, electronic and social media, its not really a surprise that there’s a lot of hype about the thing.

        Anything that keeps you away from blogging? Where has your writing career progressed to?

        I think that’s a very good idea to set a minimum target for the blog. It’d keep your followers updated too. I think yes, that’s a deal. 😁😁

      2. Very well said. Haha, I’m moving to the UK this month, and I’m desperately trying to gather my things together. That’s keeping me busy and sadly, away from blogging. I should hopefully be back on track πŸ˜€

  3. Nicely put. I believe that the obsession with the “perfect body” is complete bs… If you are losing weight it should be for a more important reason like health and never because of what people want you to look like… And there is nothing wrong with occasionally having an entire cake… The people judging you are all just secretly jealous πŸ˜‰

  4. Welcome to the UK – we are richer by your presence. I spent years hating myself, more years bullying myself, and another decade of steam and sweat and (oh, god) exercise, trying to re-jig the way nature made me. It never worked, and now I know it never will. I have a precious few years left and I’m damned sure I’m not going to spend them dieting! So I will remain gross, if that’s how people see me, and I will indulge the cooking which is my second favorite hobby, and just be content admiring the view from the bottom of hills rather than the top.
    Lovely article, and I empathize to the nth degree. Trundling is joy!

    1. Thank you for such a warm welcome, Frederick! I hope to be there by the third week. And my, what a lovely comment, so pleasing to my palate, especially after I spent the last 30 minutes downing a “Chocolate volcano”ish mug of heaven πŸ˜€ Cheers to a contented food-rich life!

  5. This is beautifully written. I’m always searching for a less cliche way to tell my clients that being comfortable and being happy with your body is the most important thing. Not you BMI, calories, or how much weight you can lift. What matters is that you’re happy with what you’re doing and who you are.

    I’ve been trying to find some motivation to write a post on my blog, MyLifeExplored, about why I lift weights and this has given me some inspiration to do so now.

    Thanks for sharing!


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